A heat wave is upon us! With this burst of warm weather comes news of two additional child deaths from children being left in hot cars. It’s sad and troubling that this continues to occur despite increased awareness about children and the dangers of a hot car. The fact is that this can happen to anyone. It is important to keep these tips in mind when it comes to children and summer car safety.
Avoid Forgetting Your Children in Hot Cars
Most parents lead very hectic lives juggling work, children, and the like. Added stresses may result from family crisis, major projects at work, a change in routine, or other unusual circumstances. It is during these times that even great parents can make the simple mistake of forgetting a child in the car. Children often fall asleep in the car, making it even easier to forget that they are there.
A few different ways that you can remind yourself about a child in the back seat are:
- Put something in the back seat that you need to grab before exiting the car (i.e. a work bag or purse).
- Place an object in the front seat of your car (i.e. baby bag or toy).
- Create a reminder on your calendar to drop your child off at school or day care.
- Add a task on your to-do list.
- Make arrangements with your child care provider to call you if your child does not arrive at the expected time.
Secure Your Car
There have been a few instances where children were in a car not because a parent forgot, but because they were able to access the vehicle on their own. In one recent case, a child went looking for a lost toy in the car but couldn’t exit the car afterwards because the child locks were engaged. By the time the parents went looking, it was too late. To prevent this from occurring, make sure you leave your car locked at all times. Additionally, store your keys in an area that is out of reach for young children. Make sure older children know to check with you anytime they need to access the car (rather than attempting to get anything on their own).
Children and Summer Car Safety
When it comes to children and summer car safety, you can never be too cautious. Take steps to ensure your child’s safety by making it less likely for you to forget that they are in the car and preventing them from entering the car without your knowledge. Talk to your children about checking in with you before leaving the house for any reason. By educating your children and becoming more aware yourself, you can keep your children safe this summer.