Never Leave An Infant or Child Alone In A Car…Not Even For A Minute
Left alone in a vehicle, even for a short time, a child is in danger of dehydration, injury or abduction
At no time during the year should parents or others who transport children leave them alone in a car, not even for a minute. We all lead hectic lives. Parents are busy trying to run errands and get everything done in little or no time, but we must stop and think about what is really important—the baby, the child and his or her safety and well-being, no matter how stressful the day, the child must always come first.
During the warm spring, summer and fall months, children left alone in or around cars are at a higher risk of suffering from heat stroke. On a 70-degree day, even with car windows slightly rolled down, the temperature inside a car can exceed 120 degrees in 20 minutes and 150 degrees in 40 minutes. Infants and toddlers are most susceptible to heat-related vehicle injuries, with 82 percent of fatalities occurring among children age 3 and under, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
Last summer, a Massachusetts mother left her 2-month-old son and 2-year-old daughter in the car while she went into a store. One of the children passed out from the heat inside the car, but passersby were able to get both children out of the car before the damage was irreversible.
Remember Hot Weather Poses A Danger for Your Infant and Child, Even on Mildly Warm Days
- The interior of cars, even with the windows rolled down, can heat up to dangerous temperatures.
- It takes only 20 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 120 degrees on a 70-degree day.
- After 40 minutes, the interior of the car reaches 150 degrees.
- Left in this situation, infants and children become dehydrated, overheated and can pass out or worse, die.
- Infants and toddlers are most at risk.
- 82% of deaths due to heat-related car injuries occurred among children ages 3 and under, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
- On hot or even warm days, do not leave your child alone in the car.
- We lead hectic lives, but children must be protected.
- Never leave an infant or child alone in a car.
- Always take them inside with you when doing errands or visiting friends.
- Share this knowledge and rule with others who transport your children – your spouse or partner, babysitter, daycare provider, and other family members.
Remember, your child is your top priority and keeping him or her safe is essential.
Reprinted with the permission of the One Tough Job campaign. © Children's Trust Fund of Massachusetts 2007. All rights reserved.
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