Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked
vehicles die from hyperthermia, a serious and potentially fatal
condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can
NEVER leave your child or pet alone in a car! Studies have shown that
the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous
level for children, pets and even adults within minutes. Leaving the
windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate.
Children are especially vulnerable to hyperthermia; their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.
Here are some important tips to remember:
- Always make sure all children have left the
car when you reach your destination. Put something you know you'll need
– a purse, briefcase or cell phone – in the back seat so you'll have to
check for it before leaving your car.
- NEVER leave sleeping infants in the car. Waking baby is a small price to pay.
- Make sure your child's safety seat and
safety belt buckles aren't too hot before securing your child in a
safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the
heat. The metal or dark plastic can easily burn children's tender skin.
- Never leave your child unattended in a
vehicle, even with the windows down. A child could accidentally put the
car into gear, hurting themselves or others.
- Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars. They could get locked in the trunk or hit by an unexpectedly moving vehicle.
- Always lock car doors and trunks – even at home – and keep keys out of children's reach.
More information about this topic is available at:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Kids and Cars.org
National Weather Service