CHP warns about dangers of leaving children in hot car

The outside temperature may not be stifling, but inside a car it can rise 20 degrees higher than outdoors. Never leave a child unattended in a hot car, the CHP warns.

Hot summer days across the country contributed to  six child deaths so far this year from heat stroke when children were left unattended in vehicles; that fact has caused the California Highway Patrol to issue a warning about the extreme danger of leaving children in hot vehicles this summer.

On Friday, the local Gilroy/Hollister office hosted a press conference to incite education among the communities of the dangers of heat stroke.

During a demonstration, Benjamin Arias from the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and coordinator of Safe Kids Santa Clara/San Mateo, measured the interior temperature of a vehicle (110 degrees) versus the exterior temperature (84 degrees.)

As a determined advocate in preventing heat stroke, Safe Kids Santa Clara/San Mateo Counties have united to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving children in cars.  

“As these tragedies continue to occur, Safe Kids is intensifying our efforts to get the message out that the inside of a vehicle is an extremely dangerous place for a child alone in hot weather,” said Arias.

Although most would assume this would never happen to them, there is no common description of the caregiver that has experienced this tragedy.  It has happened to the rich and poor all over the country, to educated and less educated, women and men and city dwellers and suburbanites.

Safe Kids recommends that parents prevent this tragedy in their own lives by following the ACT acronym:

Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by:

  • Never leaving your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
  • Consistently locking unattended doors and trunks.

Create reminders that give you and your child’s caregiver a safety net:

  • Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
  • Place a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or an item that is needed at your next stop in a back seat.

Take action if you see an unattended child:

  • Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provide. For more information, visit and

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