July 8, 2019

Safe Travels: Keeping Children Safe from the Heat

Traveling with children in the car isn’t always easy, especially if there has been a change in a parent’s routine or schedule. When caregivers feel tired or distracted, they may put their child or other children at risk due to unsafe vehicle behaviors.


Even if the outside temperature feels cool, leaving a child in the car, intentionally or unintentionally, is dangerous. While outside temperatures may be in the mid-60s, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise above 110°F, rising almost 20°F within the first 10 minutes. However, the risk of leaving a young child in the car is completely preventable.

Preventative Measures

Read these tips from Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock! to learn how to keep your child safe:

Never leave a child alone in a motor vehicle.

Leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. It takes only minutes for a vehicle to heat up and become deadly. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Make a habit of checking your back seat.

Place your purse, cell phone, briefcase, backpack or other items you typically carry in the backseat when you enter the vehicle. Put the diaper bag in the front seat with you as a reminder that your child is still in the vehicle. Open the back door to check the back seat when you exit your vehicle.

If you see a child unattended in a vehicle, call 911.

Immediately call 911 if you see a child unattended in a vehicle. Provide the 911 operator with as much information as you can–type and color of vehicle, location in the parking lot, etc. Stay with the vehicle–don’t go into a store or office and assume the police are on their way. Check to see if the vehicle doors are unlocked.

After parking your car, lock it. Children who get inside an unlocked vehicle can become trapped.

A vehicle may be a tempting hiding spot for playing children. Lock your vehicle to prevent children from getting inside.

*Information provided by PA Promise for Children