Car Safety

Heatstroke: Always Check Your Back Seat

Within ten minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach up to 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. So on a hot day, a child can overheat in a closed car within minutes. Being aware of the risks is the first step in preventing heatstroke and death in cars.

STEPS TO SAFETY

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  • HOT VEHICLE DANGERS

    • NEVER leave children alone in a car. Even with a window cracked, it is possible for them to become overheated. 
    • Lock the car when you’re not using it, and make sure all keys and remote entry fobs are out of children’s sight and reach, so that they can’t climb in on their own. 
    • If your child does get locked in the car, call 911. Emergency responders will be able to get the child out and treat him or her.
  • REMIND YOURSELF

    • Make it a habit to always check the back seat before you lock your car. More than half of heatstroke deaths happen when caregivers forget a child is still in the car. 
    • Remind yourself to check the backseat by putting something that you will need, such as your purse or cell phone, next to your child. Do this especially on days when you break from your normal routine. 
    • Create a plan with your child’s daycare or school, so they will contact you if your child is late being dropped off.
  • TALKING TO CHILDREN

    • Teach kids that cars and car trunks are not safe places to play. 
    • Show older kids how to locate and use the glow-in-the-dark emergency trunk release. Cars made after September 1, 2001 will have these. 
    • Keep rear fold-down seats closed when not in use. This will prevent kids from climbing into the trunk from inside the car.

Did You Know?


Illustration of a thermometer displaying 3-5x.

A child’s body can heat up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult's.

- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)



Thank you


Content developed in association with:

Nationwide Childrens Hospital Safe Kids Worldwide

For more information, go to Our Role.