Station InitiativesWellness Wednesday


Hot cars and kids don't mix

How to keep your kids safe this summer
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jun 21, 2024

Wellness Wednesday is sponsored by Intermountain Health.

Summer is full swing, and as the weather heats up medical experts have a reminder for all parents – do not under any circumstances leave your child in a hot car.

Michelle Cameron, community health child advocacy coordinator atIntermountain Primary Children’s Hospital said, “The real danger is that inside of the car can heat up about 20 degrees more than the outside temperature and as little as 10 minutes. So, it gets very hot in there very fast.”

That means if it’s 90 degrees outside, it can top 110 to 120 degrees inside a car in only ten minutes.

Experts note that a child’s body temperature can increase 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. And cracking a window does little to make a difference.

“At as little as 103 degrees, it's really affecting those babies’ bodies. And oftentimes, it's things like change of routine. New parents are exhausted, right? They're so tired. And so their brains are just in autopilot or just not thinking quite right. And so those things can happen.”

Every year around 40 children in the United States die after being left in a hot vehicle. And while half of the these kids are under two, kids up to age 14 have died in hot cars.

“A lot of little kids like to get in the car and play in the summer. You know, they like to they're outside playing around and hop in the car and then they can't get out. So, when you're getting out of the car, we recommend you always check the back seat, leave something in the car, that's a visual reminder for yourself that you've got a baby back there even leave a bag or a phone in the back seat so you have to have grab it out when you get to your destination. And then when you're at home, lock your car doors, even when they're in the garage and then keep your keys out of reach so kids can't get access to the cars by themselves,” said Cameron.

Here is a full list of helpful tips from Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital:

  • Make it a habit to always look in the back seat before getting out of your vehicle.
  • Keep vehicles locked and keys out of the reach of children. Curious children get into unlocked vehicles and can’t get themselves out.
  • Never leave your child alone in a vehicle – even for a few minutes.
  • Keep a visual reminder that a child is with you, like a stuffed animal or diaper bag in the seat next to you.
  • Place something you’ll need when you arrive at your destination, like your phone or bag, cell in the back seat. That way, when you reach for the item, you’ll likely see the child.
  • If a child is missing, quickly check all vehicles, including the trunk
  • Call police or 911 if you see a child left alone in a car.

For more information and resources about child safety and injury prevention, visit