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The summer heat can be brutal, especially for your children when traveling in the car. Are you correctly keeping your kid from overheating? Check out these tips to ensure safe car travel.
Learn how you can make a difference
According to kidsandcars.org, 3 of 26 child hot car deaths reported last year were from Alabama. In addition, seven deaths were reported in the U.S. this year.
A car can heat up quickly, rising 20 degrees within 10 minutes. Candice Dye, M.D., a pediatrician at UAB, shared information on how to prevent accidental heatstroke death of children in cars.
A child can overheat and suffocate in car in only a few minutes. Their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult. According to healthychildren.org, a child’s major organs start shutting down when their temperature reaches 104°F.
Dye told UAB that parents and caretakers have a lot on their minds and distractions are always there. So, she gave tips on how to prevent harm or death to children in cars.
What you need to know
Most child hot car deaths are accidental. Parents or guardians forget their child was in the car due to stress or distractions.
UAB says doing these three things will help parents keep their children safe with cars.
1. Set Reminders
Forgetting your child in the car can happen to the most loving caregiver. Changes that can cause parents to forget are:
- Changes in daily routine (especially for first time parents)
- Lack of sleep
- Rushing to appointments or work
To prevent this, place an object like your cell phone or purse in the back seat with your child. You can also place the child’s toy in the front seat to serve as a reminder.
2. Lock the Doors
Children love to play games like hide-and-seek and they tend to look for new places. So, imagine if they chose an unlocked car as their spot.
Keep your door locked and teach children that cars are not a safe place to play.
3. Stay Hydrated
You might think that driving with air conditioning will be enough to keep your child cool, but what if the AC stops working and they become hot?
Cracked or rolled down windows do not prevent cars from getting too hot. UAB recommends parents to carry bottles of water to keep children hydrated.
Be sure to take the bottled water out of the car because if not, it will get hot in the sun. Only give children water you know is still cool to reduce the risk of burning their mouths.
BONUS TIPS: Park your car in shaded areas, bring a cooling towel and buy a rolling seat cover if you can.