Summer Child Car Safety: KidsAndCars.org · Car Hazards To Children · Safety/Prevention Tools
Roughly 2,400 child or infant deaths occur each year from non-traffic related accidents. Non-traffic incidents are injuries or deaths that occur in or around a vehicle; but take place off public roads or highways, mainly in parking lots or driveways. These incidents include, but are not limited to; backovers, frontovers, heat stroke, power window strangulation or amputation, vehicles inadvertently knocked into gear, trunk entrapment, seat belt strangulation and underage drivers.
Those statistics are on the decline thanks to legislation and increased public awareness, but there is still work to be done. The Hot Cars Act, introduced in the House on June 28, 2019, requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to “issue a final rule requiring all new passenger motor vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less to be equipped with an alert system to detect the presence of an occupant in a rear designated seating position after the vehicle engine is turned off.”
The Look Before You Lock mantra is being shared in the form of education cards for new parents that have been distributed to hospitals and birthing centers nationwide to help educate parents at beginning of their child’s life. Leaving necessary and valuable items such as purses or briefcases in the backseat next to their sleeping child can jar memories and prevent fatal mistakes. A stuffed animal in the car seat and placed in the front after strapping the child in is also helpful.
Keys and remote openers should never be left within reach of children, and keep car doors locked at all times. When backing out of or entering a driveway or garage, take note where the child is at all times. Have someone else hold infants or toddlers and have younger children stand in a safe zone, such as a front step or inside a porch, to make sure they are in eyesight at all times.
By being aware and working together, everyone can strive for zero accidents and deaths for children.