Never leave children unattended in cars

You're at the end of running errands on a warm, sunny day. Your baby is asleep in the back seat of your car and you need to stop at the store to quickly pick up an item before heading home. But you don't want to wake her by digging her out of her car seat. So you opt to leave her in the car while you make a fast dash into the store. You were only gone for 10 minutes. But that's enough time for the car's interior to heat up by as much as 20 degrees. On a hot day, your family vehicle is a deadly oven. Even on a relatively cool day, the inside of your ride can rise above 100 degrees, reported the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Leaving a child unattended for even a minute can lead to heat stroke and even death,” said Christopher J. Murphy, the agency's director. “It is imperative that everyone take steps to safeguard their children by remaining alert and ensuring that no child is left unsupervised.” In 2001, Kaitlyn's Law was enacted, making it illegal to leave children unattended in a motor vehicle. Here are some reminders for parents, guardians and childcare providers on keeping children safe when the weather warms up: Never leave children unattended in a hot vehicle, even for a minute; Those caring for babies should put a needed item, such as purse or cell phone, on the floor in front of the child's safety seat as a reminder that the child is there when those items are retrieved; Use a cell phone alarm, or enlist the help of a relative or friend, to remind about dropping the child off at school or day care; Request that day care providers to call if the child is late being dropped off; Check the backseat of the car before exiting and locking it each and every time; Always lock your car doors. Do not give children access to keys or keyless entry devices; Teach children that the family car is not a playground; If children go missing, always check in around your vehicle, as well as the truck; If you see a child left unattended in a car, immediately call 911. Learn more at www.ots.ca.gov or follow the agency at www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS or on Twitter @OTS.
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