Tips to Prevent the Unthinkable:
Any parent or caregiver, even a very loving and attentive one, can forget a child is in the back seat. Being especially busy or distracted or having a change from the usual routine increases the risk.
Here are some safety reminders from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Always check the back seat and make sure all children are out of the car before locking it and walking away.
- Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
- Be extra alert when there is a change in your routine, like when someone else is driving your child or you take a different route to work or child care.
- Have your child care provider call if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
- Put your cell phone, bag, or purse in the back seat, so you check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
- If someone else is driving your child, always check to make sure he has arrived safely.
- Keep your car locked when it is parked to prevent a curious child from entering when no one is around. Many hot car deaths have occurred when a child mistakenly locks himself inside.
- Make sure children do not have easy access to your car keys. Store them out of a child’s reach.
- Teach children that cars are not safe places to play.
- Keep rear fold-down seats closed to prevent a child from crawling into the trunk from inside the car.
- Remind children that cars, especially car trunks, should not be used for games like hide-and-seek.
Important Tip: If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk!
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