Child Safety Kit 2018
But we need your help: First, it is imperative to never leave children alone in or around a vehicle, for any reason. It can only take a minute for one of these vehicle risks to seriously injure or kill your child. Second, we need to work together to teach children the dangers of playing in and around cars. Teaching vehicle safety will go many miles in the efforts to keep kids safe.
Keeping children safe extends beyond car seats. By providing educational information to parents and caregivers, and through our different prevention campaigns, NHTSA works to prevent the injury and death of children in and around vehicles.
Children are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. If you leave your kids unattended, in or near a vehicle, it may not be long before they are playing in it. Hide and seek can turn deadly if they get trapped in the trunk, where temperatures can rise very quickly—resulting in heatstroke or asphyxiation.
This can happen if you do not properly restrain your child, for example, if you let the child lie down or sleep on the vehicle seat instead of being properly restrained. Older children who are no longer in a car seat can become entangled by pulling a seat belt all the way out of the retractor or by playing with an unused seat belt.
Many children are killed or seriously injured in backover incidents. A backover incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see him or her.
In the span of 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees, enough to kill a child left alone in a vehicle. Children are at a higher risk than adults of dying from heatstroke in a hot vehicle, especially when they are too young to alert others for help.
As of September 1, 2001, automobile manufacturers are required to equip all new vehicle trunks with a 'glow in the dark' trunk release inside the trunk compartment. Show your kids how to use the release in case of an emergency. If your car is older and does not have the 'glow in the dark' trunk release, ask your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.
The majority of seat belts have a locking mechanism that is activated when the seat belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor. This feature is designed for car seat installation. In instances when the locking feature activates, the child may not be able to free him or herself.
Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non-crash-related fatalities among children. Vehicle heatstroke occurs when a child is left in a hot vehicle, allowing for the child’s temperature to rise in a quick and deadly manner. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees and the thermoregulatory system is overwhelmed. A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal. Unfortunately, even great parents can forget a child in the back seat. Other risk factors include caregivers who aren’t used to driving kids, or whose routine suddenly changes.