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Hot Car Safety for Kids and Pets

Kids or pets in hot cars can be a dangerous combination.

Protect your kids and pets this summer. Every summer we hear about kids and pets being left alone in hot cars. In the case of the kids, sometimes it's due to distractions or miscommunication between caregivers. Or sometimes kids get into unlocked cars to 'play' without anyone knowing, until it's too late. This isn't a subject that we like to discuss, but talking about hot car safety, might just save a life.

The Facts:

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children.

  • 52% - Due to being left unattended in a vehicle.
  • 29% - Due to playing in an unattended vehicle.

It's important to understand children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults; children overheat three to five times faster than adults. Did you know, on a pleasant 75-degree day in sunny California, the inside of a car can heat up to 90 degrees in just a few minutes and up to 120 degrees in about 1 hour? That's why kids or pets in hot cars can be a dangerous combination.

Helpful Hot Car Safety Tips*

  • Never leave children or pets alone in a car. A few minutes in a hot car can be dangerous.
  • Remind yourself. Put your purse or briefcase in the backseat or your child's diaper bag in the front seat.
  • Kids first. Take your child out of the car first, then unload the groceries or the shopping bags.
  • Look before you lock. Look around your vehicle, front and back, before exiting, locking or walking way.
  • Cars are not play areas. Always lock your car. If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Get involved. Call 911 if you see a child alone in a locked hot car.
  • Use the drive-through. With all the modern conveniences, you don't even have to leave your vehicle for those quick trips. When possible, use the drive-through at banks, fast food restaurants, pharmacies, etc.
  • Pay at the pump. Always pay at the pump for gas instead of leaving car unattended and paying inside the convenience store.

If you have kids, and/or pets, never leave them unattended in a car, not even for a minute! If you don’t have kids or pets you can help by spreading the word to neighbors and friends who do. Be safe and keep the kids and pets safe too!

*Source: Safety Tips from


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