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Nine Tips to Prevent Car-Related Tragedy This Summer
- NEVER leave children alone in a car - not even for a moment; their bodies respond to increased temperature far more quickly (3 to 5 times more rapidly) than adults' and can suffer devastating damage or even death in a very short time.
- Be particularly careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at child care; these suggestions can help remind you that your children are with you, even if they fall asleep:
- Place a sticky note or cling on your dashboard to remind you that your child is in your vehicle.
- Always put an object that you can't leave your car without (i.e. cell phone, purse, lunch, laptop, etc.) in the backseat where the child is seated.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat when it is not in use; when you place your child in the car seat, move the stuffed toy to the front seat.
- Place your youngest or quietest child behind the passenger seat - you will be better able to notice if the child is there than if they are in a seat behind the driver's side.
- Have your spouse or the child's day care provider contact you immediately if the child does not arrive at the day care facility at the normally appointed time.
- Teach children NEVER to play in any vehicle.
- Always keep vehicle doors and trunk locked, particularly at home, and keep keys out of the reach of children.
- Install a trunk release mechanism to help prevent entrapment.
- Watch children closely around vehicles to be sure they do not enter unnoticed, particularly during loading/unloading.
- Double-check to ensure all children have left the vehicle when you reach your final destination.
- If a child goes missing, in addition to checking pools and other bodies of water, check all nearby vehicles.
- If you see a child alone in a car, dial 911 immediately.
For more helpful information and great products that can help keep your child(ren) safe in the car, check out KidsandCars.org. Safe, happy, and healthy travels.