Not even for a minute: Dangers of Leaving Children Unattended In and Around Cars.
Most well-meaning parents have done it. On a hectic day of running errands with children in tow, we have left the kids in the car “just for a minute” while running into the drycleaners, convenience mart or dropping another child off at school. It seems like a harmless thing to do and definitely shaves minutes off a hurried day. However, the results of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle can be deadly.

KIDS AND CARS urges parents to NEVER leave children unattended in or around a vehicle – “Not even for a minute.”

Below are just a few examples of what has happened to children who were left unattended in an automobile:

Heat stroke that led to permanent brain damage or death.
Injuries or deaths occurred because a child climbed out of the car seat and shifted the car into gear.
Became ill or worse from heat or car fumes.
Abducted when someone broke into a car.

If the vehicle is running or keys are left in the ignition, the risks dramatically increase for the following:

Vehicle stolen (the car and the children).
Setting the vehicle in motion by unattended children.
Children becoming seriously injured or die by activating power controls.

Safety Tips

Children should never be left alone in a vehicle, not even to run a quick errand.
Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway.
Keys should never be left within reach of children.
Always make sure that all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.
Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
Make sure that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
Consider installing cross-view mirrors and/or a backup detection device on your vehicle.
If a child is locked inside a car, get them out as quickly as possible. If they are very hot or seem sick, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks right away.
Teach your children to never play in, around, or behind a vehicle.
Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes, and periods of crisis or holidays.

It is important to realize how potentially dangerous it is to leave unattended children in or around a vehicle. Just a reminder…Your children are priceless.


This information was provided by KIDS AND CARS, an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about the dangers of leaving children unattended in or around motor vehicles. For more information, visit

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