Prevent Heatstroke Death - the Dangers of Children Left in Cars

June 4, 2015

On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.


Far too many children have been inadvertently forgotten in hot vehicles or have gotten into a vehicle on their own. Vehicular heat stroke tragedies change the lives of parents, families, and communities forever. 


The following safety tips are from


Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.


Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or briefcase, etc. on the floorboard in the back seat.


Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind.


Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat when it is not occupied.  When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat.  It's a visual reminder that a child is in the back in a car seat.  When the animal is up front, you know the child is in the back in a child safety seat.


Make arrangements with your child's day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled.


Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set the parking break.


Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.


Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it has parked.


When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.


If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved.  If he or she is hot or seems sick, get the child out as quickly as possible.  Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.


Be especially careful about keeping children safe in a around cars during busy times, schedule changes, vacations, special events, holidays, and periods of crisis.


Use drive-through services when available at restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.


Use your debit card or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.


For additional information about ways to keep children safe in and around 

vehicles, visit the website.


Fanning Law, LLC Can Help

The facts of each case are unique and the laws in each state are different. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. It is not legal advice. For more information about your specific questions, contact Bill Fanning at Fanning Law, LLC - The Offices of William C. Fanning, Jr. - 301.934.3620 or at



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