Orange County Department of Social Services reminds residents to develop the habit to “Check for Baby” when exiting and locking cars. As the summer months are upon us and temperatures continue to rise, be mindful and develop a routine to always check the back seat before leaving the car. 100% of infant hot car deaths are preventable. Yet, over 50 children died in hot cars in 2018 and in 2019.
While it may seem easier to leave a child in the car for a quick trip into the store, remember that a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. Temperatures inside cars can reach 115 degrees when it’s only 70 degrees outside. Never leave a child unattended in the car and remember to leave cars locked when not in use – 26% of hot car deaths occur when children get inside unattended vehicles.
Be vigilant in parking lots. If you see an unattended child, check to make sure the child is responsive and if not, call 911 immediately. Attempt to locate the parents if the child is responsive.
Helpful tips to prevent accidentally leaving a child in the car:
- Place a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is in the car seat, move the stuffed animal to the passenger seat as a reminder that you have a child with you.
- Place your cell phone, wallet, briefcase, or purse in the back seat as a reminder that you have a child in the car.
- Develop a routine to “check for baby” before exiting the vehicle.
For more facts, tips, and safety-related information related to heatstroke deaths in children, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Child Safety site at https://www.nhtsa.gov/child-safety/you-can-help-prevent-hot-car-deaths.