Child Safety in Hot Cars

By Nicole Donnelly, Macaroni Kid Annapolis May 24, 2019

Twenty-four... 24...

  • A new box of crayons.
  • A case of water.
  • A box of birthday candles.
  • The number of children who died in 2015 from heatstroke in a car after being left unattended, according to

We read the news articles and watch the stories on the evening news. Many of us are appalled. How could a parent forget their own child in the back seat? You would never do that. It could never happen to us. Right?

Truth is, it can happen to anyone. Even you. It's a very real, brain-related phenomenon when your routine/habit is changed, which you can read more about here. But there are ways to combat it. Ways you can do your best at making sure it never happens to you and your family.

With the weather really starting to heat up, here are five simple tips to help make sure your child does not become part of this statistic.

  1. Ask your child's caregiver or school to call you if your child is not dropped off at the regular time. Ask them not to assume that you will call later in the day to explain an absence. A timely call can save a life.
  2. Throw your left shoe in the back seat. When you get to work, getting your shoe from the back will serve as a reminder of your child in their seat.
  3. Put the diaper bag in the front seat. Chances are, when you see that visual cue, you'll be reminded of your precious cargo in the back.
  4. Put your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat. This can compliment #2 as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  5. Make "look before you leave" a routine whenever you get out of the car. It may take some time for this to become part of your routine, but once you get it down, it'll become second nature.

It's important to remember is that when a car is parked in the sun, the temperature can climb quickly. At 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to over 100 degrees in as little as 10 minutes.

Many parents have come up with their own ways to make sure their child is not left in a hot, unattended car.