Never Leave a Child Unattended in a Car

Leaving a child alone in a car,  even for "just a second" while you run into a store can lead to tragedy.

Your Car Can Become an Oven in Minutes

Even on a moderately cool day, the temperature inside a vehicle can exceed 100 degrees within minutes. When it is 88 degrees outside, lethal temperatures can be reached within 10 minutes or less.

A child's body temperature increases 3-5 times faster than that of an adult and they can become dehydrated within minutes.

Cracking the windows, having a vehicle of a larger size or lighter color does little to reduce the temperature inside your vehicle. Even in a previously air-conditioned car, the temperature increase is rapid.

Always Keep Vehicles Locked and Keys Out of Reach of Children

Children have become trapped inside the passenger or trunk compartment.

  • Teach children not to play in vehicles
  • Teach children to tell an adult if they see a friend playing in a car
  • Child safety locks may prevent your child from being able to escape
  • Teach children how to get out of a vehicle and trunk -- contact your auto manufacturer to have a trunk release installed
  • If a child is missing, check all vehicles immediately

Seatbelt Safety

Every year hundreds of kids are hurt or killed in the United States because they did not put on a seat belt or they strapped in incorrectly. You can protect yourself, your family and your friends by following these safety tips. The safest place for any child under the age of 12 is the back seat of a vehicle.

  • Use a Rear-Facing infant seat. Under California law, children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.
  • The child seat must be in the back seat of vehicle.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.

  • Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4' 9" in height must be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.

A child under age 8 may ride in an appropriate restraint system in the front seat if:

  • there is no rear seat
  • the rear seats are side-facing jump seats
  • the rear seats are rear-facing seats
  • the car seat or booster cannot be installed properly in the rear seat
  • all rear seats are already occupied by children seven years old or younger
  • medical reasons require that a child cannot ride in the rear seat.  Proof of the child’s medical condition may be required. 

However, a child cannot be transported in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat that is equipped with an active frontal passenger airbag.

Seatbelt Safety

Every year hundreds of kids are hurt or killed in the United States because they did not put on a seat belt or they strapped in incorrectly. You can protect yourself, your family and your friends by following these safety tips. The safest place for any child under the age of 12 is the back seat of a vehicle.

  • Use a Rear-Facing infant seat. Under California law, children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.
  • The child seat must be in the back seat of vehicle.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.

  • Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4' 9" in height must be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.

A child under age 8 may ride in an appropriate restraint system in the front seat if:

  • there is no rear seat
  • the rear seats are side-facing jump seats
  • the rear seats are rear-facing seats
  • the car seat or booster cannot be installed properly in the rear seat
  • all rear seats are already occupied by children seven years old or younger
  • medical reasons require that a child cannot ride in the rear seat.  Proof of the child’s medical condition may be required. 

However, a child cannot be transported in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat that is equipped with an active frontal passenger airbag

- See more at: /fire/safety/kids/kidshealth#sthash.92v2Tofy.dpuf

Seatbelt Safety

Every year hundreds of kids are hurt or killed in the United States because they did not put on a seat belt or they strapped in incorrectly. You can protect yourself, your family and your friends by following these safety tips. The safest place for any child under the age of 12 is the back seat of a vehicle.

  • Use a Rear-Facing infant seat. Under California law, children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.
  • The child seat must be in the back seat of vehicle.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.

  • Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4' 9" in height must be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.

A child under age 8 may ride in an appropriate restraint system in the front seat if:

  • there is no rear seat
  • the rear seats are side-facing jump seats
  • the rear seats are rear-facing seats
  • the car seat or booster cannot be installed properly in the rear seat
  • all rear seats are already occupied by children seven years old or younger
  • medical reasons require that a child cannot ride in the rear seat.  Proof of the child’s medical condition may be required. 

However, a child cannot be transported in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat that is equipped with an active frontal passenger airbag

- See more at: /fire/safety/kids/kidshealth#sthash.92v2Tofy.dpuf

Download our free PDF icon child safety tip sheet (PDF).