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Summer Travel Tip: Never Leave Children Unattended in a Car

It’s a lesson a father living in my city learned the hard way. The man left his 2-year-old daughter sleeping in his locked alarmed car while he ran into Wal-Mart to pick up a spare battery. When he returned to his vehicle his daughter was awake and two police officers were waiting to arrest him for child endangerment.

That dad was lucky. Seriously. While I’m sure he wasn’t pleased about being hauled off by police, he is lucky his daughter is still alive. Had the temperature outside been higher his toddler would have suffered much more than just emotional trauma from the ordeal.

With summertime and the season’s subsequent scorching temps beginning to sweep the nation it’s a good time to review some basic rules to follow when you are traveling with a child and are tempted to leave him or her in the car while you run into Starbucks (“just for a minute”) to grab your daily caffeine fix.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that cars can heat up quickly once the engine is off. Studies show that in the first 10 minutes, the temperature in a vehicle can rise an average of 19 degrees. While most heat-related deaths in cars don’t occur after just a few minutes, there have been cases where infants have died in less than 15 minutes.

Bottom line: Never leave children unattended in a car. Instead, plan ahead so you can minimize the temptation to do so:

–When you are getting gas, pay at the pump and take your keys with you.

–Take advantage of bank and pharmacy drive-thrus, and opt for restaurants with curbside pickup.

–Group errands together or wait to do them until someone can watch the kids at home.

–Never leave car keys where kids can get them.

–Remember: Twelve states have laws against leaving a child unattended in a car: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Texas.

Related Articles:

How Do You NOT Know When Your Child has Gone Missing at an Airport?

Kids Nearly Drown While Mom Watches Show

Summer Safety Begins at Home

Traveling With Children-Learn From My Mistakes

Flying with Children: Layover or Not?

Tips To Remember When Traveling With Children

Flying With An Infant

Avoiding A Bumpy Flight

Even More Tips To Remember When You Travel With Kids

More Tips To Remember When You Travel With Kids

Traveling With Young Children: More Dos and Don’ts

Traveling With Young Children: Dos and Don’ts

This entry was posted in Travel Tips and tagged , , , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.