Summertime Car Safety Tips
Unfortunately, ever summer brings tragic and heartbreaking stories about children left alone in vehicles. You already know the dangers of leaving a child in a car during the summer; the inside temperatures can skyrocket in a matter of minutes, with dangerous – and sometimes deadly – consequences. While summer is winding to a close, it’s not a time to become complacent; there are certain safety measures you should be taking during the hot weather to keep your child happy and safe in the car. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Never, never leave a child in a closed car unattended. Even if you only anticipate being away from the car for a few minutes, something might delay you. Going into the gas station to pay for gas can easily take more than a few minutes if you get stuck in line. Even going into your house can take more time than anticipated; we’ve all had the experience of being sidetracked by a mess made by a pet or a ringing telephone. Take your child out of the car with you each time; the inconvenience is worth it!
- Be mindful of the times when your routine is disrupted. This is when many cases that end in tragedy occur: Sometimes the parent who forgets a child isn’t used to dropping the child off at daycare, for example. Take measures such as putting your purse in the back seat; when you reach back to get your purse, you’ll see your child and will be reminded. Another safety suggestion is to put the baby bag or a teddy bear in the passenger seat to act as a visual reminder.
- Guard against burns caused by blistering-hot carseat buckles. Feel them before attempting to buckle your baby in; if they’re too hot, then run the air conditioning in the car for a few minutes to help cool them off. Or use a blanket or carseat cover to cover the straps and buckles, keeping them out of direct sunlight.
- Don’t forget about sunscreen in the car! Particularly if you have the windows open, your child can get burned by the sun if it’s shining on him. Apply sunscreen or use a sunshade. Read the owner’s manual of your baby’s rear-facing carseat; depending on the brand, it might not be safe to leave the sunshade up while you are driving.
- Choose window shades wisely. These work well to block the sun from shining on your child (and his carseat), but some of them can obscure your vision and create a blind spot. Try it on the window and make sure you can see through it.
Summer car safety is largely a matter of common sense and taking precautions to prevent burns, but it also involves being aware of the danger of leaving your child unattended in a vehicle. If you ever see someone else’s child left unattended in a closed car on a hot day, don’t hesitate to call 911; you could be saving a life!
Always good to get the reminders. Easy to forget some of these.
I so wish many of these parents that are leaving their children in the car would read this article . Maybe some children s lives would be saved.Very great article and tips
Thanks for this article, way too many kids are hospitalized or die needlessly because of being in hot cars. We all need reminders!
Those are very important tips! We all need reminders! I hate hearing of tragic stories that could have been prevented. 🙁