Prevent Heatstroke: Safety in Vehicles

Vehicular heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle related death in the United States. Within 20 minutes, on an 80-degree day, the inside of a car can reach 109 degrees; a child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees. Cracking a window does not help.

Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s body. Use the following tips to keep your kids safe:

Safety Tips

  • Never leave a child alone in a car and remember to A-C-T
    • Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child alone in a car. Make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.
    • Create reminders such as keeping a stuffed animal or other object in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
    • Take action if you see a child alone in a car – call 911.
  • Be sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading – don’t overlook sleep babies.
  • Make “look before you lock” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • Make sure to lock your car doors when you’re away from it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Teach kids that trunks are not a safe place to play.
  • If your child is missing, immediately check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks.
  • Communicate with your childcare provider.
    • Plan for your childcare provider to contact you immediately if your child doesn’t show up at the expected time.
  • If you regularly take your child to childcare, create a reminder on your phone to make sure you have done so.