That a parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger, may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without the supervision of someone 12 years of age or older.
- Between 1998 - May 2012, 527 children died of hyperthermia from being left alone in a motor vehicle in the United States.
What led to these deaths?
- 52% - child "forgotten" by caregiver (253 children)
- 30% - child playing in unattended vehicle (150 children)
- 17% - child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (86 children)
- 1% - circumstances unclear (5 children)
Why does this happen?
- A child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. Even leaving a window open is not enough. It is never safe to leave a child alone in a parked car because the sun’s radiation warms objects inside of the car, such as the dashboard, steering wheel, child seat, etc., then these heated objects quickly heat the trapped air inside of the car, similarly to that of a convection oven.
- On a mild day of only 80 degrees, the inside of a vehicle can heat quickly. In only 10 minutes raising the inside temperature of the vehicle to 99 degrees, in 20 minutes to 109 degrees, in 30 minutes to 114 degrees, and 60 minutes to 123 degrees.
What can you do?
- Never leave your child alone in a vehicle-It’s the Law! Once you reach your destination, before leaving your vehicle:
1. Make sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading
2. Take all children, including sleeping infants, with you
3. Lock your vehicle doors and trunks