Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under.
Here are a few tips for parents when traveling in a car with infants or young children:
Always check the back seat to make sure all children are out of the car when you arrive at your destination.
Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
Be especially aware of kids in the car when there is a change from the routine, ie. someone else is driving them in the morning, you take a different route to work or child care.
Have your childcare provider call if your child has not arrived within 10 minutes of the expected arrival time.
Place your cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you are reminded to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures quickly, even when the outside temperature is not hot. Never leave a child alone in a car, even if you expect to come back soon. Lock your car when it is parked so children cannot get in without supervision.
Drink plenty of water.
Plan for extra rest time – heat and a change from the normal routine leaves kids and parents feeling tired.