Hot Car Death Prevention

The death of a child is always a tragic occurrence, but it’s even more heartbreaking when the death could have been easily prevented. Each summer, some infants, and young children will lose their lives because their parents or caregivers inadvertently left them in the car. The emergency care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose encourages parents and caregivers to become better aware of the dangers of leaving children in cars. A child can lose his or her life in less than an hour—even with the windows rolled down. There is no safe amount of time to leave a child alone in a car.

Look Before You Leave

Get into the habit of checking your backseat before you lock your car and walk away. Instead of just glancing in the back, open the back door. This prevents the possibility that a child could be hiding on the floor of the car after having climbed into the car unnoticed.

Place a Needed Object with the Child

When buckling your child into his or her car seat, leave your briefcase, purse, or cell phone next to the car seat instead of placing these objects in the front passenger seat. This reduces the risk that you’ll leave the car and forget that your child is in the back.

Use a Visual Reminder

In addition to using the other strategies, you can also use visual reminders to help you get into the habit of checking the backseat. Keep a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat at all times. This can remind you to look in the back before you leave the car. You could even post a reminder note to your dashboard; use brightly colored paper.

Keep the Car Doors Locked

Many people neglect to lock their car doors while their car is safely parked at home, but this can lead to tragedy if a curious child climbs inside. After making sure your child is safely out of the car, roll up the windows and lock the doors.

If a parent or bystander realizes that a child has been left alone in a car, 911 should be called immediately. The emergency care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is comprised of highly trained professionals who are dedicated to saving the lives of our patients. Patients in San Jose can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881 for general information about our hospital services, which include stroke care, robotic surgery, breast care, and heart health services.

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