As the weather heats up, we’re all thinking about lake days, grabbing a bite on a patio or going up north to a cabin. One thing we don’t want to think about is forgetting a child in the car on a warm day. While it may seem impossible to forget your child, it can happen, and is usually due to one of two reasons: not realizing the danger, or being distracted.
While it may seem that only extremely hot days are the danger, cars can quickly heat up even on a cool day. In fact, in just 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). And, heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under 15. So, making sure you are aware of the dangers is a good way to try and help prevent the unthinkable from happening.
If you’re wondering just how hot a car can get on a warm day, and how it happens, take a look at these vehicle-heating dynamics from NoHeatStroke.org.
Dex Tuttle, injury prevention program manager, gave us five tips to ensure you’ll never accidentally leave your child unattended in the car.
- Leave an important item, such as your cell phone, wallet or purse, in the back seat. And with the new hands-free bill that went into effect in August 2019, keeping your phone in the back seat is a great way to keep your mind on the road!
- Write a note on the dashboard: “baby in back!”
- Always use the passenger-side doors to load and unload for trips to ensure you have to walk around your car.
- Set location reminders when arriving at your favorite locations – the grocery store, work, restaurants, etc. to remind you to check the backseat before you go inside.
- Put a stuffed animal or doll in the car seat when your child isn’t in it. When you strap your kid in for a trip, put the stuffed animal in the seat next to you up front, this will remind you that something is out of place.