Hot cars and kids – it could happen

flickr user aaron in brookin

We’ve all read the tragic headlines.  “Child dies from heat exposure after being left in a hot car”

The stories are heartbreaking.  Often they include a parent who was in a hurry, took a different route, or had something else on his or her mind.  Typically, the child is sleeping and went unnoticed.  It’s easy to judge.  Obviously these are terrible parents, right?  That could never happen to me.  I’m super-attentive.  I’ve never left my cell phone at home.  I never ever drove off with my purse still in the shopping cart I just, ever so conscientiously, put back in the shopping cart collector.  And I certainly never ever never got two hours of sleep one night due to a refluxy baby and walked directly into the house on a hot summer day after a Costco run, completely forgetting that I got ice cream. Never.

I was talking to my mom about the most recent case and she had something profound to say.  This trick doesn’t work for little ones who are unable to get out of their car seat, but it’s still worth mentioning.

If your child finds him or herself locked in a car and can’t get out, tell them to beep the horn, over and over again until someone notices.  I took my little ones outside to do this exercise and I was surprised they had no idea where to press, how hard, and that they would be allowed to keep doing it in the right situation.

For tips on avoiding accidentally leaving your child, of any age, in the car, check out this list from SafeKids.  There’s even an app for that!

Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.


  1. Mary Williams says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! We all need a reminder. Triple digit temps this weekend so I hope no more tragedies.

    I have also heard the tip that if your children are very young to put your purse or briefcase in the backseat so you see them when you go to grab your bag.

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