The 4-Safety Program

Vehicular Heatstroke and Entrapment Safety

With 743 reported deaths since 1998, as of February 2018, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children.

Simply stated, a child should never be left unattended in a car, even for a few minutes.

The interior temperatures in cars can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes! And you should never be fooled by the temperature outside of the car. Because a child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s, heatstroke deaths have occurred in vehicles when the outside temperature was as low as 57°F.

ACT: Avoid, Create, Take Action

It is important to recognize that 100 percent of all vehicle-related heatstroke deaths are preventable. Incorporating the acronym ACT into your daily routine can help prevent this tragedy

Avoid vehicle heatstroke deaths by never leaving your child, or pet, alone in a car. Be sure to always lock your vehicle so kids cannot enter on their own.

Create reminders by putting personal items in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine.

Take action if you see a child left unattended in a vehicle. Call 9-1-1.

Learn more about vehicular heatstroke and entrapment safety with these resources

Did You Know?

  • Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. (Source:
  • In 55 percent of vehicle-related heatstroke deaths, parents/caregivers unknowingly left children in cars. (Source:
  • 87 percent of vehicle-related heatstroke fatalities claimed the lives of children younger than 3 years old. (Source:
  • On average, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle. (Source:
  • In both 2018 and 2019 a record number of 53 children died after being left in a hot vehicle. (Source:

Learn More

Vehicular Heatstroke and Entrapment Safety Videos

KidsandCars: Look Before You Lock
KidsandCars: A Car is Like an Oven
SafeKids: Gary on the Street
SafeKids: Heatstroke – Could it Happen to Your Child?
SafeKids: Reggie McKinnon Shares How He Lost His Daughter to Heatstroke
RedCastle Crusade: One Decision
WJAR-TV: Hot Car
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Bystander Saves Baby’s Life
Baby Left in Car — Social Experiment