Never leave a child alone in a car ...
Not Even For A Minute!
Left alone in a car for even a short time, a child is in danger of heatstroke, dehydration, overheating, hyperthermia, injury, abduction, and even death.
Temperatures in cars soar quickly. Even with a window cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach very dangerous temperatures within minutes. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s body temperature may increase three to five times as quickly as an adult's body. In these extreme conditions, children can die or suffer a permanent disability in a matter of minutes.
Believe it or not, routines and distractions can cause people to mistakenly leave children alone in cars. Below are tips to help prevent this from happening.
- Make your child as visible as possible.
- Place your purse, briefcase, cell phone, or another item to be carried from the car in the back seat with your child to serve as an additional reason to check that area.
- Set a reminder on your cell phone or computer to be sure you dropped your child off at day care.
- Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child has not arrived as scheduled.
- Use the drive-through, pick-up, or delivery options at grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and other businesses.
- Pay at the pump at gas stations.
More car safety tips:
- Teach your children the dangers of a car and let them know that it is not a toy or playground.
- Always lock your car, even at home, and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same. Unlocked cars pose a risk to children who are curious.
- Always put your keys in a safe and secure place out of children’s reach.
- Check pools, cars, and trunks right away when a child is missing.
If you see an child without an adult in a car, dial 911 right away and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provide.
Download the Not Even for a Minute poster or rack card to share with parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving a child in a car. You can also download a Spanish version of the poster and rack card.
Contact Melissa Lavinder at MLavinder@mt.gov or 444-3002 for more information.