Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat!

Many of you have probably heard of the NWS’s “Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat” campaign, but why are we bringing it up during the winter? Mild and near record high temperatures like those forecast across Georgia this weekend will result in greater vehicle heat danger - especially with many people likely to head out holiday shopping.  See more details and safety tips below.  Click HERE to view an interview conducted with local news on the issue!


 50% of all heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles occur when a caregiver forgets the child, who is usually strapped into a car seat.  An additional 30% of deaths occur when a child has somehow gained access to the vehicle but cannot get out (the other 20% of deaths were either of unknown circumstances or the child was intentionally left in the vehicle).  These are preventable deaths!

Research shows that temperatures in an enclosed vehicle climb 20 degrees in 10 minutes and by over 40 degrees in an hour.  The same research showed that “cracking” the window made very little difference. 

It doesn’t matter where you are in the country or what time of year it is – NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE, NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE!


Safety recommendations:


  • If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately!

  •  If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk.

  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading.  Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices.
  • Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.

  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat.  When a child is put in the seat, place the animal in the front with the driver.

  • Or, place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.

  • Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.

  • Ensure your child’s school and/or child care provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.

Additional resources:

·         NWS Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat:

·         Golden Gate Weather, Heatstroke Death of Children in Vehicles: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.