Summer Safety Rules for Kids and Cars

Even when it doesn't feel that hot outside, a parked car can become a sauna in minutes. That's why no child should ever be left alone inside a car, even for a moment, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Even when the outside temperature feels mild, it only takes minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to dangerous levels.

Children are especially vulnerable to the heat because their bodies can't control internal temperatures as well as adults' bodies can. In a hot car, a child's core body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult's temperature would.

To protect children from the heat, heed this advice from Safe Kids and other experts:

  • Never leave a child alone in a car, even with the windows cracked.
  • Teach children not to play in, on or around cars.
  • Lock the doors and trunk when your car is in the driveway or parked near the house.
  • Keep the keys where children can't reach them.
  • Make sure all of the kids get out when you reach your destination.
  • Before you put kids in the car, check the temperature of the seats and seat belt buckles.
  • Keep rear fold-down seats closed so kids can't get into the trunk.
  • Consider installing an interior trunk release so if a child gets locked in the trunk he or she can get out.
  • If your child gets trapped inside the car, get him or her out and call 911 right away so emergency personnel can check for signs of heatstroke.