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Tips to prevent hot car deaths

Too many kids die of in-car heatstroke each year and it has already claimed the lives of five children this year. Cars.com’s Jennifer Geiger provides tips for avoiding this very preventable tragedy in this week’s segment of Driving Smart.

Spring is here and cities are beginning to heat up. So it’s important to remember that heatstroke can kill kids year-round.

Five children have died in hot cars this year. Kids are especially vulnerable because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than adult’s. Couple that with the fact that sunlight can turn a car into an oven, even on a relatively cool day, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Hot car deaths are a preventable disaster and caregivers need to be extra vigilant. Forgetting a child may sound unlikely, but with all the workload of parenting, it’s a more common threat than you might think. In fact, 30 to 40 kids die of in-car heatstroke each year.

Use these easy tips keep your child safe:

  • If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered in some way, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely. Research shows that many of these accidents happen when a caregiver's routine is disrupted.
  • Stash your purse or briefcase behind the driver’s seat, rather than on the front-passenger seat. That way you’ll have to open the rear door to grab your bag, making it pretty hard to miss your baby.
  • Never – we mean never – leave your child unattended in the car, even if you’re just running into the gas station or grocery store.

Finally, if you see a child alone in a car, get involved. If the child seems hot or sick, call 911 immediately.