Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Dangers of Leaving Kids in Hot Cars


Be safe with children in hot cars

A child's body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult's body. For this reason, it is extremely important that caregivers understand the implications of leaving a child in a hot vehicle during warm weather.

More than 30 children die every year because they are left in a hot vehicle. It takes just 10 minutes for a car's temperature to increase by 19 degrees and continue to rise. Follow these tips to keep children safe in and around vehicles:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the window cracked.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a vehicle.
  • Set your cell phone or your computer to ask you a reminder question such as "Did you drop your child off at child care today?"
  • Place an item that you always take from the car into your destination in the backseat with your child.
  • If your child is missing, check vehicles and trunks first.
  • Teach your children never to play in any type of vehicle to prevent them from accidentally locking themselves in a vehicle without your knowledge. Lock all doors and windows to every vehicle parked at your house.

Good Samaritans are protected when rescuing children in danger

Tennessee has passed legislation to protect good Samaritans who break into vehicles to rescue children who may be in danger, especially in regard to high temperatures. People who break into cars to rescue a child left alone in a hot car will not be subject to paying damages.

If a person determines that if a vehicle is locked, and there are no alternatives to getting to a child in imminent danger, they will be exempt from paying damages. The individual must also call 911 or other law enforcement before they break into a car. It is a misdemeanor in Tennessee to leave a child alone in a car.

The mid state is experiencing dangerously high temperatures and high humidity. Cars can heat up very quickly. Parents and other caregivers are seriously urged to pay close attention to the children riding in their cars to prevent heatstroke or death.

More Information

Last Edited: July 1, 2015
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