Hot Cars

According to Kids and Cars, at least 940 children have died in hot cars since 1990. In fact, 2018 and 2019 were the worst years in history for hot car deaths with over 100 child deaths (53 each year).

Child Care Aware of Virginia encourages the public to never leave a child in a vehicle unattended, always look in the back seat before exiting your car, always lock your car, and always keep your keys out of children’s reach.

Any loving, responsible parent can unknowingly leave their child vulnerable to these senseless deaths. Life is hectic and routines change. Establish a system to remind yourself that your child is in the car.

  • Place a purse or cell phone next to your child’s car seat.
  • Place a hangtag on your rearview mirror to remind you to #LookBeforeYouLock.  We recommend this one from BabyIn BabyOut.
  • Ask your child care provider to alert you if your child does not show up as planned. 
  • Set a daily reminder on your phone.

Did you know…

  • Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under 15.
  • A child’s body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s body.
  • In just 10 minutes, a car can rise in temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cracking a window and/or turning on the air conditioner does little to keep a car cool once it’s turned off.
  • Heat stroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees F.
  • Because of climate change, we can expect more days to be hotter.

Here are just three of the ways you can get involved!

1. Support the Hot Cars Act

Ask your representatives to require occupant detection and alert systems to the hot cars provision of the IIJA.

See a sample letter HERE.

In November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed by Congress and included a provision that addresses hot car tragedies.  The hot cars provision calls for an ‘audio and visual reminder alert to check the back seat’ in all new vehicles.  However, a reminder alert alone falls short of what is needed to prevent hot car deaths and injuries.  The hot cars provision that passed does not specify the need for occupant detection, which is necessary to prevent hot car tragedies.  Learn more about the Hot Cars Act HERE.

2. Make a Donation

3. Spread the Word

Share the following graphics on Facebook, Twitter or download for Instagram

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Sample Social Media Posts to Share

See a child alone in a car? Call 911 immediately! #HeatStrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock

2018 and 2019 were the worst years in history for hot car deaths.  You can help prevent them if you remember to #LookBeforeYouLock

Hot car deaths are 100% preventable.  2022 is the year that hot car deaths stop increasing. #LookBeforeYouLock