“People often think that something like this could never happen to them,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “However, the majority of heatstroke deaths are accidents, where a parent or caregiver forgets the child is in the back seat.”
AAA and its Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation encourage anyone with small children to develop a regular, consistent reminder system for getting their children out of the car. In cases where children are left unintentionally, something usually happens — such as a change in routine — that takes the driver’s attention away from backseat passengers, especially when a child has fallen asleep.
“Child heatstroke deaths in vehicles are 100 percent preventable, and we want to make sure no parent or caregiver ever has to experience such unthinkable heartbreak,” said Beth Mosher. “We urge parents to think about their routines and what steps they can take to prevent a child from being left in the car.”
AAA and its Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation suggest the following safety tips to help keep children safe:
- Make it a Habit – Before locking your vehicle, check the front and back seat.
- Set an Alarm – Consider programming an alarm on your phone that will go off to remind you to check your vehicle.
- Caregiver Assistance - If you normally drop your child off at a babysitter or daycare, ask the caregiver to call you if your child doesn’t show up as expected.
- Add a Reminder- Put your purse/wallet or cell phone in the back seat. This way you are reminded to look in the back seat before leaving the vehicle.
- Don’t Leave Them Alone, Not Even for a Minute - Never leave children unattended in a vehicle -even if the windows are open or the air conditioning is running.
- Vehicles Aren’t Play Areas - Don’t let children play in an unattended vehicle.
- Put Keys Out of Sight - Always lock your vehicle – even in driveways and garages - and keep keys out of children's reach.
- Call for Help - If you see a child or pet alone in the car, call 911 immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
Established by AAA – The Auto Club Group in 2010, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACGTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to producing a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in the communities targeted by its efforts. ACGTSF provides programs, education and outreach to increase public awareness about the importance of traffic safety and improve driving behavior. ACGTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACGTSF’s purpose. Visit www.AAA.com/foundation for more information.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.5 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 58 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.