As these summer temperatures continue to rise, the danger of hot cars increases. It’s extremely important to exercise caution when driving with children or pets. Never leave them alone in a vehicle, even if it’s “just for a second.”

The inside of a vehicle heats up very quickly, reaching 125 degrees within minutes. Cracking the windows does not help the car to stay cooler.

According to, a change in daily routine, lack of sleep, stress, hormone changes, fatigue and simple distractions are things all new parents experience and are just some of the reasons children have been unknowingly left alone in vehicles.

Make sure your child is never left alone in a car:

Make a habit of opening the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind.

One way to enforce this habit is to place an item that you can’t start your day without in the backseat ‐ employee badge, laptop, phone, purse, etc.  

Ask your child care provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.

Clearly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to everyone thinking someone else removed the child.

Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat. When your child is in their car seat, place the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. This creates a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.

In addition, accidents have happened where children get into vehicles, especially in the trunk, then get stuck and cannot get out. Make sure children cannot get into a parked car:

Keep vehicles locked at all times, especially in the garage or driveway. Ask neighbors and visitors to do the same.

Never leave your car keys within reach of children in your home.  

Teach children to honk the horn if they become stuck inside a car.

If a child is missing, immediately check the inside, floorboards and trunk of all vehicles in the area very carefully.

Additional safety tips:

Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.

If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.  

If you see a child or pet alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. Notify surrounding business owners.

If you have children or pets in the vehicle, use drive‐thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.