SPRINGFIELD – Today, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), in partnership with KidsAndCars.org, released an audio public service announcement to build awareness on how to keep children safe in and around cars.

The PSA is available in both English and Spanish and can be listened to below:

In English: 

In Spanish: 

In the summer, a car can heat up to 90 degrees in less than 10 minutes so it is never a good idea to leave a child alone in a car for any amount of time; and it is against the law in Illinois.

“If you see a child in a hot car alone, dial 9-1-1 immediately,” says DCFS Acting Director BJ Walker. “Your sense of community and your intervention can help prevent a tragedy and save a life when minutes and even seconds matter.”

The radio PSA reminds parents and caregivers that we all have a role to play in keeping children safe because every 10 days in the United States of America, a child dies from heatstroke. A split second decision to leave a child alone in a car can lead to devastating consequences.

To remind yourself there is a child in the back seat put something there you will need, like a wallet, phone, purse or briefcase to ‘Look before You Lock’. And tell your childcare provider to call you immediately if your child does not show up as scheduled. These simple actions can save a life. For more tips on how to keep children safe visit www.DCFS.Illinois.gov or www.KidsandCars.org.

Pets are in danger of overheating too, because unlike us, they cannot as easily cool down. It is best to leave pets at home during the warmer months. Visit www.ASPCA.org for more information on how to keep pets safe year round.