Message Monday - Baby on board? Look before you lock

8-10 baby on boardLast year, 52 children in the U.S. died in hot cars. How do these deaths happen? The majority happen either when parents or caregivers forget there is a child in the vehicle, or when a child climbs into a vehicle to play and becomes trapped.

What can be done to save children from this fate?




Parents and caregivers:

  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
  • Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself "Where's Baby?".
  • Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected. 
  • Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, that will cause you to look in the back seat to grab that item before you lock.
  • Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger's seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.

Everyone — including bystanders:

  • If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.
  • Always lock your car doors and trunk, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.
  • Store car keys out of a child's reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.

Hot car deaths can happen quickly – see for yourself

For 2020, there have been 166 fatalities reported. That is an increase of 13 since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office  of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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