This content has been clinically reviewed by Lauren Sullivan Middlebrooks, MD.
It’s many parents’ worst nightmare, and one we confront frequently on the news during summer months: another child tragically dies or is harmed as the result of being left inside a hot car.
Some statistics estimate that, on average, one child has died every nine days from vehicular heat stroke since 1998, making it one of the leading causes of death among children (87 percent of hot car deaths occur in little ones under the age of 3, putting younger children in particular at higher risk).
So how does this happen? And how can we as parents and communities protect our children from such a tragedy?
Many parents can’t imagine ever accidentally leaving their child locked in the car, but it’s easier to do than you think. Any single change in your daily routine can increase your chances of making this dangerous mistake. This holds doubly true for non-related caregivers whose first instinct may not always be to check for children before getting out of the car.
This resource guide from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta offers important information and tips that can help keep kids safe.