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Think twice before leaving your child or pet in the car alone

Picture showing a child in the back of a car sitting in a car seat facing backward with the text outside 75 degrees, inside car 105 degrees and never leave a child in a car.
Photo courtesy of NHTSA

Leaving a small child or pet in a car alone is never a good idea. It’s especially dangerous on sunny days. It doesn’t have to be a hot day for the temperature inside of a car to reach high enough temperatures to cause heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause serious damage to the brain and other organs.

Did you know?

  • car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t help.
  • Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. (SafeKids Worldwide)

As the sunny spring days continue into summer, consider these tips to stay safe:

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.  
  • Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, backpack or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child. 
  • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations (Courtesy of SafeKids Worldwide)

Other risks of leaving a child alone in the car include being trapped in a trunk, setting the car in motion or being taken from the car.

To Learn More:

Seattle Children’s Hospital

Safe Kids – heatstroke  

NHTSA heat stroke dangers