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Never leave your child alone in the car!

Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia, a serious and potentially fatal condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle.

NEVER leave your child or pet alone in a car! Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults within minutes. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate.

Children are especially vulnerable to hyperthermia; their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.

Here are some important tips to remember:

  • Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination. Put something you know you'll need – a purse, briefcase or cell phone – in the back seat so you'll have to check for it before leaving your car.
  • NEVER leave sleeping infants in the car. Waking baby is a small price to pay.
  • Make sure your child's safety seat and safety belt buckles aren't too hot before securing your child in a safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the heat. The metal or dark plastic can easily burn children's tender skin.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down. A child could accidentally put the car into gear, hurting themselves or others.
  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars. They could get locked in the trunk or hit by an unexpectedly moving vehicle.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks – even at home – and keep keys out of children's reach.

More information about this topic is available at:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Kids and Cars.org

National Weather Service

Safe Kids.org

Safer Car.gov

WebMD.com

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