With summer temperatures already heating up, Family Support Services would like to remind you to keep your child cool and out of the car in hot temperatures.

Cars are very efficient at trapping heat, and the effect is increased with dark dashboards, steering wheels, and car seats. Within the first twenty minutes of turning off the car on a sunny day, the car’s interior will heat up almost 30 degrees. After an hour, the car will be 43 degrees hotter. Even if windows are “cracked” open, the temperature will hardly be affected.

Children are especially prone to overheating, as a child’s body is three to five times worse at cooling itself compared to an adult. This puts kids in a high-risk situation when parents leave them in the car. Children aged two and under make up over half of heatstroke deaths in the vehicle, and 97% of child heatstroke victims are five years old and under.

This can be prevented by a few simple safety tips:

  1. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle – not even for a minute!
  2. Make a habit of “Looking Before You Leave” whenever you exit the car.
  3. Keep your purse, cellphone, or briefcase in the backseat as a reminder that your child is still in the car.
  4. Teach your child to never use the car as a play area and be sure they don’t have access to your car keys or locking device.
  5. Call 911 when you see a child left unattended in a vehicle.

It’s great to get out during the summer time heat – just be sure that your child always comes out of the car with you!

For more information, visit http://noheatstroke.org .