‘Park, Look, Lock. Where’s Baby?’ NHTSA shares tips for preventing hot car deaths

National News

(KGET) —The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to remind the community about the risk of unlocked vehicles. The NHTSA encourages individuals to always keep their cars locked, even if they do not have children of their own. With more parents and children at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to know the risks.

In 2019, 52 children died of heatstroke because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. The first child to die of heatstroke in a car this year sneaked outside his family’s home, climbed into the family car, and became trapped. A car can heat up 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. More than half of the hot car deaths in 2020 have happened the same way, according to the NHTSA. 

The NHTSA has released tips to prevent hot car deaths.

Tips for everyone, including bystanders

  • If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.
  • Always lock your car doors and trunk, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.
  • Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.

Tips for parents and caregivers 

  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
  • Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself Where’s Baby?.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected. 
  • Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock.
  • Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.

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