Child in car

Mighty Blog

Forgetting children in hot cars: reduce the risk with these five tips

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

Dex Tuttle, injury prevention program manager, gave us five tips to ensure you’ll never accidentally leave your child unattended in the car.

  1. 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!
  2. Write a note on the dashboard: “baby in back!”
  3. Always use the passenger-side doors to load and unload for trips to ensure you have to walk around your car.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Alexandra Rothstein