Grandfather buckling a baby boy into a car seat

How to Protect Kids from Heatstroke While Driving in Summer

Tips for Keeping Children Cool While on the Road

Summer is here, which means heat is rising. During the hot summer months, parents and guardians will have to take extra precautions to protect the smallest and youngest passengers inside their vehicle from heatstroke. Here are a few ways you can help your kids stay cool while on the road.

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Set Reminders to Get Your Kids Out of the Car

Unfortunately, a leading cause for children suffering heatstroke inside a vehicle is due to the parent or guardian forgetting that they are in the car. To prevent a tragedy, set reminders to remember to get your kids out of the car when you reach your destination. For example, consider leaving one of your valuables, like your phone, wallet, or purse, in the backseat with your child but out of your child’s reach. Another tactic many parents like to use is keeping one of your child’s toys with you in the front seat along with your valuables. Then, when you reach your destination, place the toy in your child’s car seat after they’re safely outside the vehicle to repeat for next time. Even a reminder as simple as a phone alarm can be enough to protect your child.

Toddler girl sitting in a car seat

Have a Caregiver, Friend, or Family Member Call You

So, what happens if you forgot to set a reminder? If you are dropping your child off by a caregiver, whether that be a friend, family member, or daycare, have them call you if your child doesn’t arrive within 10 minutes of their scheduled start time. If you know you will be late and your child is safe, call your caregiver to let them know.

Lock Your Car and Keep Your Keys Out of Reach

Sometimes, a child may wander inside a car and become trapped. This may be a result of kids entering an unlocked vehicle or finding the keys and unlocking it themselves. To avoid your children from accidentally locking themselves inside your hot vehicle, keep your car locked, your keys out of reach, and teach them that your car nor your car keys are toys to play with.

Run the A/C

Heat rises very quickly inside vehicles and kids don’t handle heat nearly as well as adults do. Always run the A/C when driving with them during the summer. Cracking a window is not a substitute for A/C as heat won’t escape the car.

Never Leave Kids Unattended Inside Your Vehicle

We have talked about what you should do to protect your kids. So, what should you not do? You should never leave your kids unattended inside your vehicle. Even if you plan on being gone for two minutes, you may lose track of time which can result in your vehicle getting very hot very quickly. Not only that, but leaving your kids unattended may result in a kidnapping. If you must leave your child in the car, make sure a trusted adult stays with them with the A/C running. If you can’t bring your child inside to your destination, utilize drive-thru services that many businesses like fast food restaurants, banks, and pharmaceuticals have available.

[ READ MORE: List of Things to Do for Your Car This Summer ]