This post was sponsored by Auto Alliance as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
You’ve probably heard a lot about it on the news over the last few years, and you’ve more than likely seen stories circulating around the internet about an infant or child being left unattended in a vehicle and ultimately perishing due to heatstroke. It’s an incredibly sad topic to talk about, but it’s imperative that we become aware of the extreme dangers that are associated with leaving a child alone in a car – no matter how short their time left in the car may be.
Research shows that an average of 37 children will die each year from being left unattended in a car. 75% of those children are under the age of two years old, while 50% of those are under a year old. It’s so hard for me to imagine a scenario where a parent would forget their own child sitting in the back seat, or for someone to think that a person (especially a baby) can withstand the insane temperatures that the inside of a car can reach within mere minutes, but I have to take a step back and remember this:
Parents and caretakers are humans.
It is possible for one to lose track of what they’re doing – especially if they’re out of a normal routine. Babies often fall asleep in a car and do not make a sound, and the driver of a vehicle with a sleeping baby could forget that their sleeping child is on board with them. It may sound like a stretch to you, but it happens more often than we think. It’s a real scenario, and an incredibly real danger that we all need to be more educated on and aware of.
The temperature inside of a parked vehicle (even with the windows cracked) can quickly reach and exceed 120 degrees. Because a young child’s body can heat up to 3 to 5 times faster than an adult, this temperature can be lethal for a child, and a heatstroke can occur with minutes.
That’s why when you’ve got a baby or child on board with you, it’s imperative that you always look behind you and check for children before you leave and lock your vehicle. Auto Alliance is encouraging the public to be proactive in preventing heatstroke by following ACT: (see video below)
Avoid heatstroke related injuries and deaths by never leaving your child unattended in a vehicle – not even for a quick minute. Create a reminder for yourself by leaving an item in the back of the vehicle next to your child that is hard to walk off without (shoe, purse, cell phone, etc.) Take action if you see a child being left unattended in a vehicle by calling 911 and alerting emergency personnel of the situation. Choosing to ACT could save a life!
I choose to leave my purse (along with my child’s giant diaper bag) in the back seat as a reminder for me. Although my child very rarely falls asleep in the car anymore, I have this reminder with me to always head for the backseat before I leave and lock my vehicle. If you or another guardian travels in a vehicle with your child, please share this information with them and alert them of the dangers of leaving a child in a hot vehicle – even if you think they already know about it. Our babies are precious cargo, so look before you lock!
For more information on heatstroke prevention and to help spread awareness, please visit www.autoalliance.org/heatstroke
You can also find additional resources and information to share with your friends on social media by visiting the follow social channels: