She's Encouraging Parents To Teach Kids How To Get Out Of Hot Cars — A Lesson That Could Save Lives

"Why isn’t it a thing we teach our kids, like we do with fire drills?"

During the summer, we have to be extra careful to protect kids from heat. Whether they are outdoors or indoors, heatstroke can happen, and can be dangerous. Fatal incidents often occur when a child is left in a hot car, and reports that approximately 37 children die every year from heat-related deaths after being left in hot cars. 

While most parents think they will always remember to take their kids out of the car, reports that 54 percent of heat-related deaths happen after a parent accidentally forgets their child is in the car.  


After this happened to mom Amy Amos, she was prompted to speak about the importance of teaching kids how to get out of cars themselves.

The Half Heard In The Stillness blogger recounted her experience in a post titled "I would never forget my child in a hot car …" The mom writes how she was returning from the pool with her 3-year-old son, and she had made sure he had unbuckled his seatbelt and left the car door open before going inside.

"I was carrying in wet towels and swim trunks, my wallet, keys, the camera, a lens that I was worried about dropping, *and* I'm pregnant with twins and had to pee," she writes. "He often walks inside slowly, stopping to look at random crumbs in the carseat or ants on the ground. Our neighborhood is relatively safe, he knows not to wander off, he knows how to open the front door by himself. My older kids were also walking inside. He wasn't even alone."

After 10 minutes, no one had heard the 3-year-old's voice, so they began to look for him.

The family thought he might be sitting quietly, playing with his iPad or in the bathroom, but he was in the car. Amos writes, "The doors were shut, he was sweating and sobbing with his face pressed against the window."

They discovered that the boy was looking for his flip flop on the car floor and wasn't visible. One of his siblings thought he had gone inside with his mom, and shut the door. The 3-year-old couldn't get the car doors open, panicked, and began to cry, but no one could hear him.

This made Amos ask an important question about the kinds of safety measures we take to protect kids in such situations. 

"Does your toddler or preschooler know how to get out of a car when the doors are shut?" she asks. "... Why is this not something we talk about? Why isn’t it a thing we teach our kids, like we do with fire drills?"

In light of the incident, Amos is teaching her child how to open the car from the inside all by himself, how the locks work, how to open handles, and how to honk the horn until someone comes, if the door doesn't open. She adds, "I'm also going to make sure he can unbuckle his carseat. I'm fairly certain he will be able to at least undo the chest clip, and I'll have him practice pulling his legs up and out from there, just in case he ever finds himself in the car and needs to get out."

She explains that she hasn't heard of kids practicing getting out of cars, but she think it's something that children should be taught, and she's encouraging other parents to do it, too. "Please take ten minutes of your day and be sure your kids at least know how to push the buttons and honk the horn if they accidentally get in the car alone, and have them practice opening the doors from the inside if they're strong enough," she urges. "You never know, they could get into the car when you least expect it. Knowing how to get out might save their lives."

Cover image via Shutterstock I Kostyantyn Skuridin

(H/T: Popsugar)


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