Police Public Service Announcement: Heatstroke -Kids in Hot Cars

Heatstroke -Kids in Hot Cars
Parents and Caregivers
Leaving Kids Alone in Hot Cars — Know the Risks
and Consequences

Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, but caregivers who are unaccustomed to 
transporting children are especially prone to forgetting.

Think about the last time your routine was interrupted. Maybe you forgot something, or were afraid 
you might forget something. Or maybe you decided to leave your child alone in the car, thinking 
“I’ll just run into the store for a minute.” In either case, it’s important to know the risks and 
consequences associated with leaving kids in cars — especially hot cars.
Risks
•     In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
•     Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.
•     With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.
•     A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.
•     Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!
•     A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.


Consequences

•     The heat-related death of a child
•     Misdemeanor with fines as high as $500 — and even imprisonment — in some states
•     Felony, depending on the state, if bodily harm results from leaving kids alone in a hot car
•     Note: The age of children who can be left unattended in a vehicle varies from state to state, 
as does the duration of time a child can be left alone in a car.

Prevention Tips to Avoid a Tragic Heatstroke

•     Never leave a child alone in a car.
•     Don’t let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play 
area.
•     Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.

•     Keep a large teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it’s empty. Move the
teddy bear to the front seat when you place the child in the seat as a visual reminder.
•     If you are dropping your children off at childcare, but normally your spouse or partner drops 
them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure they were not left in the car.
•     Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the door. Always look front and 
back before walking away — always!


The Tewksbury Police Department urges any citizens who suspect criminal activity to call the 
Dispatch Center @ 978-851-7373. If you wish to remain anonymous please call the Tip Line @ 
978-851-0175 or send an email to tewks_detectives@tewksbury-ma.gov .