Southeast Michigan summers are hot – and the chances of your child suffering heatstroke are higher than you think. In fact, 38 kids die from it each year, according to public-safety advocacy group KidsAndCars.org. And kids that suffer from heatstroke after being left in hot cars seems to be becoming more common.
“With the heatstroke, I think that they are totally unaware that the inside of a car can heat up as fast as it does,” says Joann Moss, injury prevention education coordinator with the Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) of Children’s Hospital of Michigan, based in Detroit.
So a parent will take the risk to run a simple errand. Or, even worse, many parents actually forget the child is in the car because he or she is sleeping or very quiet.
If you want to ensure that you keep your child safe this summer, here are some tips to make sure you don’t forget him or her in the car.
- SafeKids.org suggests leaving an item of importance next to your child – including a briefcase, purse or cell phone – anything you need once you reach your destination.
- Make it a habit of looking at the front and back of the vehicle before you exit.
- Create a calendar reminder to drop your child off at daycare.
- Set up a system with your child care provider. Have them call you if your child has not been dropped off by her father, for example, on a day that mom would normally take the kid to child care. “It’s really important for you to put some things into place; even more so if you’re changing the routine,” Moss says.
- Take action if you see a child alone in a car. Be sure to call 911.
Learn more about the how common it is for parents leave little children alone in a vehicle, according to a study – and discover even more tips.
This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2017.