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5 tips for preventing hot car deaths

hot car deathWhen stories about hot car deaths make headlines, most parents have the same reactions:

That would never happen to my child.

Only a careless parent could put their little ones in that situation.

Unfortunately, parents who think they’re immune to the dangers often fail to take proper precautions to avoid these tragic incidents.

Many hot car deaths are not, in fact, the result of negligence. Changes in schedule, lack of sleep, and other seemingly irrelevant circumstances can add up to deadly distractions – even for the most attentive parents.

Although some technology is available to alert parents if a child is left in their vehicle, even the best safeguards need a backup. According to Kids and Cars, an organization dedicated to protecting children from predictable and preventable dangers, the following tips may help prevent hot car deaths and injuries.

5 tips for preventing hot car deaths

  1. Make a habit of leaving your phone or wallet in the back seat while you’re driving. This will force you to open the rear door every time you park your vehicle, giving you the opportunity to check for kids before going on with your day.
  2. Create a pact with your child’s babysitter, daycare, and family members involved in their daily transportation. Decide who should be notified if they don’t arrive at a given time and designate a backup contact in case the first can’t be reached.
  3. Be on high alert and set extra reminders to check the back seat on days when your routine changes. Many of us go into autopilot as we travel to our destinations, and a sleeping baby could easily slip off your radar – especially if they’re not usually in the vehicle with you.
  4. Never leave children in the car unattended for any amount of time, under any conditions. Unexpected distractions could keep you away from your vehicle longer than expected, and temperatures inside the car can quickly reach dangerous levels, even in mild weather.
  5. Always keep your vehicle locked with your keys out of reach. Teach your children the car is not a place to play and don’t allow them in or around your vehicles without an adult.

Visit kidsandcars.org for more tips on keeping your little ones safe.