Look Again! Stop Vehicular Heatstroke Deaths
Help keep your children safe by never, ever leaving them in a parked vehicle or letting them play in one for any amount of time. Below are some tips for parents and caregivers to follow so this tragedy doesn’t happen to you:
1. #LookAgain: Always check the back seats and under the seats before locking and leaving your vehicle to make sure that all children are safely out.
2. Create a reminder system that lets you know your child is still in the back seat (e.g., tie a ribbon around your wrist while your child is in the car or place your purse/briefcase in the backseat so that you have to open the rear door).
3. If your child is in child care, ensure that you know your provider’s policy regarding class trips and drop-off; how do they verify that every child has left the vehicle? Do they have more than one person checking and counting that all children have exited?
4. Make sure parked cars around your home are kept locked at all times.
Safety Tips by Age
BIRTH TO 1: Keep a large stuffed animal in your baby’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that your baby is in the back seat. Never leave your baby in the car alone, even for a short amount of time. Are you new to driving around with a baby? Leave items you need like your purse, cell phone, or wallet in the backseat to remind yourself you are not alone.
AGE 1 TO 2: Make a habit to look again when you get out of the car. Place a valuable item in the backseat for a reminder. Does your child care program provide transportation to or from school? Ask how they ensure no child is left behind in the vehicle. Avoid driving with distractions, especially cell phones. Be extra alert and put your phone in the backseat to remind you that your child is there too.
AGE 2 TO 3: Make it a habit to talk with your child while he is in the car with you. If you keep a constant dialogue going, it will be hard to forget that he is with you. Ask your child care provider to call you if your child is expected at school and does not arrive. Has your child’s car ride routine been altered? Check to ensure they arrived safely at his destination.
AGE 3 TO 4: Keep all cars around your home locked, and keep car and garage remotes stored away from little hands. Young children’s bodies absorb heat faster than adults. Always place a visual reminder in the front seat to remind you they are in the backseat. Never leave your child alone in the car and teach them not to play in or around vehicles.
AGE 4 TO 5: Change in daily routines, lack of sleep, stress, and distractions can all be reasons for a child being left in a car. What is your system to ensure you always #LookAgain? If a child goes missing, check the surrounding vehicles immediately to make sure they are not stuck inside. Be a good role model and always wear your seatbelt. Tell your child to remind you to buckle up and make sure they are buckled in. Keep a ribbon tied around your seat belt to remind you that your child is in the car with you.
About Child Care Resource Inc.: Child Care Resources Inc. ("CCRI") is the go-to source for early care and education and school-age child care in this community. We help to ensure that all young children - particularly those at educational risk - have the kinds of early learning experiences that promote school and lifelong success. Learn more. For more information about child development and parenting, sign up for NC Parent Power and receive two to four texts messages each month. Text NCPARENT to 99000.
Looking for quality child care? CCRI’s Child Care Search can help! Call (704) 348-2181 to begin your search with help from trusted experts. Proudly serving the Central Carolinas for 35 years.