Sunday, December 28, 2014

Keeping kids out of hot cars

A few weeks back, we ran a piece about the dangers of leaving kids in overheated cars. Here are some tips on how to make sure that never happens to you.

Keeping kids out of hot cars

If you drive your kids or grandkids around in the back seat of your car on a regular basis, make it a practice to always open the back door and look in the back seat before you leave your car. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
If you drive your kids or grandkids around in the back seat of your car on a regular basis, make it a practice to always open the back door and look in the back seat before you leave your car. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A few weeks back, we ran a piece about the dangers of leaving kids in overheated cars. Here are some tips on how to make sure that never happens to you.

The safety group KidsAndCars.com calls it “Look Before You Lock” – if you drive your kids or grandkids around in the back seat of your car on a regular basis, make it a practice to always open the back door and look in the back seat before you leave your car. Do it at home, at the supermarket, at work, at the daycare center, everywhere. Think of it as your personal ‘no child left behind’ rule. Kids heat up faster in a hot environment; a sleeping child left in a car seat or a toddler who climbs back in while playing is at risk.

“You can also use a stuffed animal,” says Christopher Haines, D.O., director of the Department of Emergency Medicine and the medical director of the Transport Team at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.  “Keep it in the car seat when no one’s sitting there, put it in the front seat when your child is in the car seat. It’s a reminder.”

Other strategies recommended by KidsAndCars include:

 

  • Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floor board in the back seat.
  • Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
  • Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
  • When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. If they are hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
  • Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.
  • Use drive‐thru services when available – at restaurants, banks, drug stores, dry cleaners,  ice cream shops.
  • Use your debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.
About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS Assistant Professor of Psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Temple University Hospital
Peter Bidey, D.O. Medical Director of Family Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Christopher C. Chang, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAAAI, FACAAI Associate Professor of Medicine in division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UC Davis
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist of The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., F.A.A.P Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Mario Cruz, M.D. Pediatrician, Associate Director of Pediatric Residency Program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Magee DeFelice, M.D. Division Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Chief of Pediatric Emergency Services at Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Adolescent Medicine Specialist at Crozer-Keystone Health System
Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D Associate Professor in School Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, R.D. Registered Dietitian at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Jeanette Trella, Pharm.D Managing Director at The Poison Control Center at CHOP
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D., ABPP Director of Integrated Health Care for American Psychological Association
Flaura Koplin Winston, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
Latest Videos
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected