Help Stop Children Vehicular Heatstroke Deaths
Help keep your children safe by never, ever leaving them in a parked vehicle or letting them play in one for any amount of time. Below are some tips for parents and caregivers to follow so this tragedy doesn’t happen to you:
- #LookAgain: Always check the back seats and under the seats before locking and leaving your vehicle to make sure that all children are safely out.
- Create a reminder system that lets you know your child is still in the back seat (e.g., tie a ribbon around your wrist while your child is in the car or place your purse/briefcase in the backseat so that you have to open the rear door).
- If your child is in child care, ensure that you know your provider’s policy regarding class trips and drop-off; how do they verify that every child has left the vehicle? Do they have more than one person checking and counting that all children have exited?
- Make sure parked cars around your home are kept locked at all times.
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BIRTH TO 1
- Keep a large stuffed animal in your baby’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that your baby is in the back seat.
- Never leave your baby in the car alone, even for a short amount of time.
- Are you new to driving around with a baby? Leave items you need like your purse, cell phone, or wallet in the backseat to remind yourself you are not alone.
AGE 1 TO 2
- Make a habit to look again when you get out of the car. Place a valuable item in the backseat for a reminder.
- Does your child care program provide transportation to or from school? Ask how they ensure no child is left behind in the vehicle.
- Avoid driving with distractions, especially cell phones. Be extra alert and put your phone in the backseat to remind you that your child is there too.
AGE 2 TO 3
- Make it a habit to talk with your child while he is in the car with you. If you keep a constant dialogue going, it will be hard to forget that he is with you.
- Ask your child care provider to call you if your child is expected at school and does not arrive.
- Has your child’s car ride routine been altered? Check to ensure they arrived safely at his destination.
AGE 3 TO 4
- Keep all cars around your home locked, and keep car and garage remotes stored away from little hands.
- Young children’s bodies absorb heat faster than adults. Always place a visual reminder in the front seat to remind you they are in the backseat.
- Never leave your child alone in the car and teach them not to play in or around vehicles.
AGE 4 TO 5
- Change in daily routines, lack of sleep, stress, and distractions can all be reasons for a child being left in a car. What is your system to ensure you always #LookAgain?
- If a child goes missing, check the surrounding vehicles immediately to make sure they are not stuck inside.
- Be a good role model and always wear your seat belt. Tell your child to remind you to buckle up and make sure they are buckled in. Keep a ribbon tied around your seat belt to remind you that your child is in the car with you.