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 54 deaths in 2018 and 53 in 2019. The average number of deaths prior to was 38 per year. During 2020 and 2021, we saw a decline during the pandemic (26 and 23 deaths, respectively); we hope to continue seeing that downward trend. 

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.

Even a 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. Try placing a briefcase, purse or cell phone next to the child’s car seat; that way you will always check the back seat before you leave your car. We recommend ordering a BabyIn BabyOut hangtag for your rear view mirror to remind you to #LookBeforeYouLock. Ask your child care provider to alert you if your child does not show up as planned. You can even set a daily reminder on your cell 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 three to five times faster than an adult’s does. 
  • In just 10 minutes, a car can rise in temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is 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.

* Information from Kids and Cars

How Can You Help?

Protecting children is everyone’s business! If you see a child unattended in a car and are concerned, you should immediately call 911.

Click here to view Virginia’s bystander law.

Write Your Representatives to Support the Hot Cars Act of 2019








Spread the Word

Example social media posts:

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

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

-2020 is the year that hot car deaths stop increasing. #LookBeforeYouLock

Hot car deaths are 100% preventable. #LookBeforeYouLock


Donate to Our Campaign

If you’d like a copy of our Car Safety Packet, contact your local Child Care Aware of Virginia office.