Child Health Advocacy and Safety

Prevent Heat Stroke: Do Not Leave Children in Cars

American Family Children's Hospital Safety Center: child in car seatSafe Kids Madison Area Coalition supports The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign to educate parents and caregivers about the hazards of leaving children unattended in vehicles.

"Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock" looks to eliminate childhood heat stroke fatalities that result from leaving children unattended in vehicles as the weather warms.

The Problem

According to the national Safe Kids website, since 1998 527 children have died from heat stroke in such a way, with 33 of those deaths happening in 2011.

Top Tips for Preventing Hyperthermia

Safe Kids USA recommends the following to prevent hyperthermia (heat stroke):

  • Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the window slightly open. 
  • Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or whatever is to be carried from the car, on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This triggers adults to see children when they open the rear door and reach for their belongings.
  • Set your cell phone or Blackberry reminder to be sure you dropped your child off at day care. You can also download the Baby Reminder App if you have an iPhone.