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Davis Journal

Child safety reminders as temperatures rise

Jun 17, 2021 12:37PM ● By Becky Ginos

The temperature inside a car goes up by 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Nearly 40 kids die every year in hot cars. Photo courtesy of Primary Children’s Hospital

SALT LAKE CITY—With the start of summer and record-breaking heat along the Wasatch Front, parents need to be vigilant about their child’s safety.

“Never leave a child in the car,” said Jessica Strong, Community Health Manager at Primary Children’s Hospital. “Not even for a minute. It can cause injury or death. The inside temperature of a car can heat up quickly. In 10 minutes it can heat up by 20 degrees. It doesn’t take long to become deadly.”

A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, said Strong. “There have been 13 deaths in Utah since 1990 and many close calls. We don’t really know about those except when the local police departments tell us.”

According to Primary Children’s, between 1998 and 2017, 761 children in the U.S. have died as a result of being left alone in a hot car, and nearly 40 kids die every year in hot cars. 

Strong recommends using a reminder that a child is in the back seat. “Sometimes you go on autopilot and forget the child is in the car. Especially rear-facing car seats where the child falls asleep. I suggest you put a purse or briefcase in the back seat for a visual reminder. Something you have to use before you get out of the car.”

The Baby Safety Snap is another good reminder, she said. “It’s a yellow lanyard that buckles into the car seat that you have to unbuckle when you put the child in. Then you hang it around your neck to remind you that your child is in the car. If you do forget and get inside the building or work it says ‘Baby in the Car’ so someone might say ‘hey, is your baby in the car?’”

Strong also suggests parents keep their vehicles locked, even in the garage. “Kids might get in the car to play hide and seek or get in and climb around.”

Spot the Tot is another program to keep kids safe. “It’s our back over prevention campaign,” said Strong. “I call it ‘all drivers’ not just parents. You need to walk around the vehicle and make sure there are no children around before backing out of driving forward.”

There are a lot of children in Utah, she said. “No matter where you go, the store, the park, there's likely going to be children there. We see a lot of tragedies occur, but it’s something that can be prevented.”

For more information or to order a free Baby Safety Snap visit