Not Even For a Minute!
Left alone in a vehicle, even for a short time, a child is in danger of dehydration, injury, abduction, and other risks. At no time during the year should you or others who transport your child leave him alone in a car, not even for a minute. We all lead hectic lives and are busy trying to get everything done in little or no time, but stop and think about what is really important – your child and his safety and well-being, and no matter what, your child must always come first.
During the warm spring, summer, and fall months, children left alone in or around cars are at heightened risk of heat stroke. During winter months, snow can block a car’s exhaust pipe, and warming up a car can cause carbon monoxide to back up into the car. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that has no smell, taste, or color but is poisonous. Children left alone in cars continue to face the year-round danger of injury and abduction.
Tips to keep kids safe in the car
Take kids inside. Always take children inside with you when doing errands or visiting friends. In addition to weather related injuries children might be harmed in several ways, including:
- Becoming trapped in a car trunk.
- Accidentally setting the car on fire by playing with matches or a cigarette lighter.
- Getting strangled by a power window, sunroof, or other accessory.
- Being injured or abducted by a stranger in the course of car theft.
- Being hit by a car in a driveway or parking lot.
Beware of your keys. Always put keys in a safe place out of reach of children. Always lock your car, even at home, and remind friends and neighbors to do the same so children cannot get into cars on their own.
Let others know. Be sure to convey this important information to anyone who transports your child – your spouse or partner, babysitter, daycare provider, and other friends and family members.
Report a child alone in a car. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately. Do not approach the parent or caretaker because she may get angry and not be responsive. If the child is unconscious, try to get him out and call an ambulance. Do not ignore a child left alone in a car. The child is at risk and you should alert an authority.