Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children and infants and toddlers are most at risk. 87% of children who have died in hot cars are under the age of 3. Unfortunately, even great parents can forget a child in the back seat. Other risk factors include caregivers who aren’t used to driving kids or whose routine suddenly changes. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver or bystander of a child left in a car, it’s vitally important to understand children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults. Follow these 7 important rules and tips to protect children from heatstroke:
- Look before you lock. Open the backdoor and look in the backseat to assure that everyone is out of the car (even if you think you are childless).
- Keep something you need in the backseat. Put your cell phone, briefcase, computer, lunch, ID badge, left shoe, or anything essential to your daily routine beside your child.
- Travel with a furry companion. Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When baby is in the seat, the stuffed animal rides shotgun. The furry passenger serves as a reminder that baby’s in the back.
- Always lock the doors. Even if the car is in the garage, keep the doors locked to prevent curious children from getting into the car.
- Put the keys and fobs away. Kids might want to play with keys and be able to get into the car without parents knowledge.
- Have a plan with childcare provider. If your child does not show up to daycare or school without prior notice, someone should call to locate child.
- If you see something, do something. If you see a child alone in a car, do not hesitate to call 911.