4 Summer Safety Tips for Kids and Cars

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Look Before You Leave

Don't be tempted to crack a window and leave your child in a car during the summer, even for only a quick stop. On a mild day, it can take just 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to heat up from 75 degrees to about 95 degrees.

And on a sunny, 85-degree day, the temperature in your car can quickly climb above 140 degrees.

In 2013, 44 children died after being left in hot cars, according to Kids and Cars. While it’s easy to blame parents in these cases, Fennell says it’s not that simple. “If you think that this can’t happen to you, you’re fooling yourself,” says Fennell. “This happens to the best of parents. I’m talking ministers, dentists, doctors, lawyers. The pillars of our society. It’s not a lack of love, it’s that our memories let us down.”

Kids and Cars gives three ways parents can avoid forgetting their children in the car. Before locking your car, check all the seating positions and make sure no one is in there. You can also use the teddy bear defense. Place a large stuffed animal in your child’s car seat. When you put your child in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the passenger seat. After you remove the child from the car seat, put the toy back. The stuffed animal acts as a reminder: If it’s in the front seat, your child is in the car. Finally, having someone hold you accountable can save lives. Many children who are left in hot cars were supposed to be dropped off at day care, but their parents forgot and left the child in the car while they went to work. Have an iron-clad agreement with your day care provider to call if your child isn’t dropped off by a certain time. 

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