It’s just one of those days: you’ve been running around all day with a fussy child, you finally get to the grocery store and they’re fast asleep. You cringe at the idea of waking them up and you only have to get one thing, so it’s okay to leave them for just a couple minutes… right?

Think again! Leaving a child alone in the car, even for one minute, can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. Even if it’s not hot out or a window is cracked, a child’s body heats up 3-5 times faster than that of an adult.

Safe Kids Worldwide offers many tips on how to avoid a heat stroke. On average, a child dies from heatstroke from being left in the car every 10 days in the U.S.

Follow these tips to remember to ACT and prevent these unnecessary tragedies:

  • Avoid injury by never leaving a child alone in the car. A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked. Always lock your car doors and trunk, even when you’re parked in the driveway. Teach your children that trunks are not safe for playing.
  • Create reminders so that you never unintentionally leave your child alone in the car. Even the best parents can be forgetful. Put something important next to their car seat that you’ll need whenever you get to your destination, like your cellphone or purse. Also, create calendar events to remember to drop them off when you need to.
  • Take action. If you see a child unattended in a car, call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to handle this situation and look for the signs of heat stroke. You could help save a life!

We hope everyone has a happy and healthy summer!