Kids Left in Hot Car Summer

Prevent Heat Related Car Accidents This Summer

Kids Left  in Hot Car SummerEach summer I always cringe when I hear sad stories on the new about parents or daycare workers accidentally leaving a child inside of a hot car, in some cases the child was only left alone few minutes.  As a mom, I always wondered how and why these kind of things happen to an infant or child.  I know that I personally make sure that my kids are out of the car before I lock it or grab things out of the car.  So far this summer, I haven’t heard about any of these stories on the news yet but the summer had just begun.

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  The opinions in this post are based upon my own experiences and may be different from your own.

How Hot Does The Inside of a Car Really Get?

Many people think that a car only gets hot enough to cause harm when the temperatures outside are in the 100’s.  In fact, temperatures as low as 70 degrees outside can cause the temperature inside of your car to reach dangerous levels.  Most people don’t realize that with the car windows rolled up, even in mild temperatures, that the car can easily become a death trap in a short period of time.  After 20 minutes, your car can quickly reach up to 120 degrees when the temperature outside is only 90 degrees.  Leaving a crack in your window doesn’t significantly reduce the amount of heat trapped in your car, so it is important to take your children or pets with you when you get out of the car.

Keeping your Children Safe from Car Related Heat Illnesses

If you plan on running errands on a hot day, it is best to take your children with you or leave them at home with a trusted adult.  Even if you think that your errand won’t take you very long.   A simple errand that normally only takes you a few minutes might end up taking you longer to do than you originally planned.  You should never take the risk and leave your child inside a locked car.  Always pack up your children and take them with you, even if it seems like a pain.  It is never okay to leave your children locked in a hot car even with the windows rolled down.  It only takes a few minutes for a child, especially, infants to start having signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death.  If you ever see an infant, child, or children who are locked alone in the car, please pick up a phone and call 911 immediately.

Preventing Heat Related Car Accidents

Always use these few safety tips to avoid your child from getting trapped in a hot car.

  • Always lock your car even in the garage.
  • Never allow your child to play with your keys.
  • Hide your keys in a safe spot if your children are old enough to find the lying on the kitchen counter or in your purse.
  • Do warn your child about the potential dangers of playing in an unsupervised car.
  • If your car doesn’t have a trunk safety latch installed, get one installed on your car and teach your child how to operate it so if they get trapped in a trunk they know how to get out.
  • Always get your kids out of the car first, then come back for any items that you left in your car.
  • Do remind yourself that your child is with you in the car and not to forget them.  Use a sticky note or some type of reminder to alert you if you aren’t used to having children in the car with you.
  • Do ask if your daycare has a plan to protect your child from possible getting left on a hot van bus during outings or field trips.
  • If your child rides the bus home or rides home with a friend from school, always check on them to make sure that they have arrived.
  • Follow up with the school’s transportation office to determine if they have a plan to ensure that kids aren’t left on the bus at the end of the day.
  • NEVER leave your child in a hot car.
  • Do call 911 if you ever see a child left in a car unattended.

It only takes a few minutes for your child to sneak your keys while you are busy and end up trapped in a hot car.  If you are busy, you might not realize that your child is in trouble.

Use These Safety Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe in the Car

These same safety tips also should be applied to your family pet.  If your pet is unable to go into a store with you, then you should leave your pet at home.

Do you cringe when you hear about these types of stories on the news?

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24 responses to “Prevent Heat Related Car Accidents This Summer”

  1. Sharon Avatar

    Living in Phoenix like I do, I can tell you that nothing…NOTHING, makes me crazier than when I see a parent leave their kid in a locked car even for just a second! Every freaking year kids die out here because of some idiot parent. MAKES ME NUTS!

    Good post BTW 🙂

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree so many innocent kids die each year because they were accidentally left in a hot car.

  2. Susan Avatar

    Yes, yes…this makes me CRAZY! I have been known to flip out on parents {hot outside or not} who leave young children in the car alone. I once saw a dad leave his car idling in front of a store, toddler strapped in and alone while he shopped for vitamins! Truth.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Susan I am glad that you speak up some people just don’t realize the dangers. Even with the car running, something still can happen to a young child.

  3. Mommys Juice Avatar

    I always find it so hard to believe when I see these tragedies happen. Thanks for spreading the message of how to prevent!

  4. Pepper Tan Avatar

    A lot of bad things can happen when we leave kids inside a car. It breaks my heart whenever I hear stories of kids being left alone inside a vehicle.

    1. Christy Avatar

      It breaks my heart too. I hope that my post helps make parents more aware of the dangers.

  5. Rebel Sweetheart Avatar

    Personally, I haven’t seen a kid left alone inside a locked car. But the thought of seeing one mortifies me.

    1. Christy Avatar

      I haven’t personally seen one either Rebel, but I would be upset if I saw a child alone in a hot car even with the windows rolled down.

  6. Carla J Gardiner Avatar

    Excellent article and very timely since the soaring heat has hit very early this year.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback Carla. 🙂

  7. Rob Avatar

    This drives me nuts when i see kids and animals in the car locked up..

    1. Christy Avatar

      It drives me crazy too Robert, not sure how kids or pets can get left in the car when it is hot outside.

  8. Alexandra McAllister Avatar

    It’s terrible how many children and pets die per year because of this. Thanks for writing about this important subject.

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree it is horrible how many kids and pets are killed each summer.

  9. Daniele Holmberg Avatar

    Thank you for the article on this critical topic:) SO many people do not realize the severity of this situation and how many kids and pets are killed each year

    1. Christy Avatar

      I agree Daniele. I hope that people read this post and prevent accidents.

  10. Linora Avatar

    This is a very serious issue, which applies to all. We travel a lot, rent a car through the application. We never leave a child alone in the car. Not only because of the heat, and all because of his safe.

    1. Christy Avatar

      Thank you for visiting Linora. This is a very serious issue and I hope that more people read my tips.

  11. Elizabeth O. Avatar
    Elizabeth O.

    These are great tips. I really don’t understand why a parent would leave her child in a hot car during the summer.

  12. Czjai Reyes-Ocampo Avatar

    Same here. Every time I read/hear about stories of kids being left inside the car, alone, on a hot scorching day, I shake my head and ask, ‘What were their parents thinking?!’

  13. Holly @ Woman Tribune Avatar

    Such important information! Living in northeast, Pennsylvania, we don’t get too many months of heat, but when we do I realize just how easy it is to get used to bitter, biting cold because the heat is not always my friend. It is way too easy to have heat-related accidents, and when it comes to kids, the accidents can happen quicker than ever.

  14. Debbie Denny Avatar
    Debbie Denny

    Very important. Always put the child first.

  15. Erinn S Avatar
    Erinn S

    what great tips as a reminder of the summer dangers