Heatstroke and Back-Overs

Never leave a child alone in a vehicle - even if the windows are open a crack or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on.

  • High temperatures outside and exposure to sunlight can cause the temperature inside a parked car to reach dangerous levels.  High temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion (hyperthermia) or death.
  • Call 911 right away if you see a child alone in a hot car.
  • Cover metal parts of car seats in hot weather.  Hot belt and harness buckles can seriously burn children.
  • Nothing is quieter than a sleeping baby.  Before locking your car door and walking away, listen and look.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the child's carseat when it's empty. Place it in the front seat with your things where you will see it when you get out of the car.
  • When your routine changes or you're tired, it's easy to become distracted and forget your child in the back seat.  A phone call from your spouse or a friend can be a good reminder. Offer to do the same for each other.
  • If a child is missing,  check the pool and car first.
  • It is not safe to leave a child in the car, even when it's cooler.  Children have died of heat stroke inside cars when it was only 83 degrees outside.
  • Most children want to drive just like mom and dad. Keep vehicles locked and keys out of reach of children.

Every year, over 2,400 children visit emergency rooms due to vehicle back-overs.  In more than 70% of these incidents, a close relative is behind the wheel.

  • Make sure all children are inside the home or are under sight supervision before moving a vehicle.
  • Teach children not to play in, or hide behind, vehicles and not to run in parking lots.
  • Keep toys away from the driveway.
  • If camping or at large gatherings where children are all around, shout "vehicle moving" to warn the group.

Download the "Can You See Me Now" handout

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