What to do if you see a child or animal alone in a vehicle

Every year on average, 38 children die in hot cars.

KidsAndCars.org is calling on the public to be prepared to take action to save a life.If you see a child alone in a car; get involved.  Protecting children is everyone’s business.

Here’s What You Should Do:

  • Don’t wait for the driver to return. Call 911 right away. The 911 operator can help give you instructions on how to care for the child.
  • If the child is not responsive or is in distress, immediately:
    • Get child out of the car* by any means necessary
    • Move the child to a cooler environment (somewhere with AC or shade if AC is not available)
    • Remove child’s clothing to let the heat dissipate from their skin
    • Dampen the child with cool water or wet rags (not in an ice bath) 
  • If the child is responsive:
    • Stay with the child until help arrives
    • Ask someone else if they can locate the driver. You might suggest they ask security of a store manager to page them

Warning Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Hot, flush or red
  • Slow, weak pulse or strong, rapid pulse
  • Lethargy, confusion or strange behavior
  • Nausea
  • No sweating

It’s never okay to leave a child alone in a car, even for a few minutes and even if the car is running.

Since KidsAndCars.org began tracking data, over 900 children have died from heatstroke inside vehicles. 2018 was the worst year in history with a total of 52 children that died in hot cars.


The resqme™ emergency escape tool is a valuable resource for these types of emergencies.  Every driver should have one. The resqme™ tool hooks right on your keychain.  

KidsAndCars.org makes them available for a small donation at: https://www.kidsandcars.org/product/resqme-emergency-tool/

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 7:46 pm in category Uncategorized