should never be left alone inside of your car, even for a
few minutes. From 1996 through 2000, more than 120
children – most of them ages 3 and younger – died from
heat stroke after being trapped in a car. In summer 1999,
an average of one child every four days died after being
trapped in a car parked in the searing heat.
outside temperature is 93 F, even with a window
cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach
125 F in just 20 minutes and approximately 140 F
in 40 minutes.
Many parents mistakenly think they can leave a child in
a vehicle while running a “quick” errand.
Unfortunately a delay of just a few minutes can
lead to tragedy. Heat is much more dangerous to children
than it is to adults. When left in a hot vehicle, a young
child’s core body temperature can increase three to five
times faster than that of an adult causing permanent
injury or death.
heat affects infants and small children
disproportionately,” said Martin Eichelberger, M.D.,
director of trauma surgery at Children’s National
Medical Center and president of the National SAFE KIDS
Campaign. “Heat rapidly overwhelms the body’s ability
to regulate temperature. In a closed environment, the body
can go into shock and circulation to vital organs will
begin to fail.”
in Your Driveway
parked in a driveway, your car can be especially
hazardous. Unlocked cars pose serious risks to children
who are naturally curious and often lack fear. Once they
crawl in, children don’t have the developmental
capability to get out. More than a third of deaths
reported last year occurred when children crawled into
unlocked cars while playing, they became trapped and
perished in the sweltering heat.
National SAFE KIDS Campaign warns parents to be especially
vigilant about their children’s safety on days when
temperatures are 80 degrees or higher by offering the
following safety precautions to combat heat-related
injuries in cars.
leave your child in an unattended car, even with the
children not to play in or around cars.
lock car doors and trunks even at home.
wary of child-resistant locks.
Teach older children how to disable the
driver’s door locks if they unintentionally become
entrapped in a motor vehicle.
to make sure all children leave the vehicle when you
reach your destination
over look sleeping infants
children closely around cars, particularly when
loading and unloading.
sure you check the temperature of the car seat
surface and safety belt buckles before restraining
your children in the car.
a light covering to shade the seat of your parked
car. Consider using windshield shades in front and
are for Elephants not for Kids
may think the trunk is a fun hiding place, but if they
become trapped, they could suffer a devastating heat
stroke leading to permanent injury or death.
car keys out of children’s reach and sight.
the trunk of your car locked at all times,
especially when parked in the driveway or near the
the rear fold-down seats closed to help prevent kids
from getting into the trunk from inside the car
your automobile dealership about getting your
vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism
your child gets locked inside a car, get him out and
dial 9-1-1 or your local emergency number
For more information, write to
the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 1000,
Washington, DC 20004 or visit the Campaign’s website at www.safekids.org
Click here to view Car
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