BETHESDA, MD — Amid high temperatures throughout Maryland, Montgomery County officials are warning residents about leaving children in hot cars.
“It is without a doubt the worst nightmare for any parents of a baby or toddler…forgetting to take the child out of the car seat and going on with the day’s work or activities. It can, and has had tragic results,” Montgomery County officials said. “Routines change during the summer months so it is easier to get out of a regular pattern. That, combined with just how quickly a car heats up at this time of year, makes this a safety topic we really want to draw your attention to.”
Death in oven-like cars is exacerbated by the summer heat — typically oppressive to all but potentially lethal to small children.
In tragic yet completely preventable occurrences, children die every summer in the U.S. after being left alone in hot cars — more than 600 since 1990, says the non-profit safety group Kids and Cars. Sometimes, they die after parents leave them inside vehicles, either forgetting they are there or when children enter unlocked vehicles unbeknownst to parents, according to WebMD.
In the state of Maryland, it is against the law to leave a child under the age of 8 unattended in a car, unless a reliable caregiver (at least 13 years old) remains with the child.
When a child, or even a pet, is left unattended in a hot car, temperatures inside the vehicle can surpass 100 degrees. That’s why officials say it is so important for residents to stay vigilant and call 911 if they see a child or a pet left unattended in a car.
Tips To Prevent Accidentally Leaving Your Child in the Car
- Set your cell phone alarm to ring every few minutes at the time that you usually arrive to work.
- Place your purse, wallet, work documents or cell phone in the back seat with your child so you will remember to go to the backseat before leaving the car.
- Ask your child care provider to call you immediately if your child is not dropped off at