Dangers of Leaving Children in Cars | Craig Swapp & Associates
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Danger of Children in CarsDangers of Leaving Children in Cars

With an average of 36 children dying every year after being left in hot cars, there has been a national push to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving children in vehicles. An entirely avoidable tragedy, kids locked in a car are at risk of dehydration, fatigue, heat stroke and even death. It’s important that the public understands the dangers of leaving children in cars.

The Temperature

The temperature inside a car can increase up to 20 degrees in just ten minutes and up around 40 degrees in an hour. It doesn’t even need to necessarily feel hot outside, children have died in vehicles when the outside temperature is 60 degrees. A child’s body also heats up several times faster than an adult’s. As the temperature rises inside the vehicle, kids locked in a car have their own internal temperatures rise quickly and dangerously. The vehicle can reach an astonishing 125 degrees within minutes. Even with the windows cracked a vehicle can reach temperatures that are deadly for children.

Heat Stroke

One of the primary dangers of leaving children in cars is heat stroke. As a child sits in a hot vehicle, heat stroke quickly leads to complications like dehydration, internal organ damage, seizures, coma and eventually death. An adult has a better awareness and physical capacity to remove themselves from the situation once heat stroke begins, but a child panics as the symptoms of heat stroke begin, augmenting the physical damages and increasing the likelihood of death.


When parents and guardians are in a rush the result can be kids locked in a car. It’s almost always a complete accident. Maybe the adult forgot they have a child in the vehicle, or maybe the adult justifies “they will only be gone for a minute”. Regardless of how a child gets trapped in a hot vehicle, there are measures adults can take to prevent it from happening.

  • Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  • “Look Before You Lock” – Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
  • Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or briefcase, etc., in the back seat so you’ll have to open the back door of your vehicle.
  • Make sure you have a strict policy in place with anyone who provides childcare for your child. Know when and where a child will be picked up and dropped off.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages.
  • Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
  • If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

With the appropriate amount of awareness and preparation the dangers of leaving children in cars can be eliminated. At Craig Swapp & Associates we are committed to keeping children safe. If you or a loved one has a child who suffered because of the negligence of someone leaving them in a hot car, give us a call at 800-404-9000 or explain your experience to us using the form at the bottom of this page. Our experienced attorneys will help you receive the compensation that you deserve.

Craig Swapp & Associates
9980 S 300 W Suite 400, Sandy, UT 84070
Map / Directions ? Phone Number: (800) 404-9000