On average, 38 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.

Scroll down for child stories, fact sheets, stats, safety tips, charts, graphics, video PSAs, studies, etc.

Child Vehicular Heatstroke Deaths by Year

(location-specific and detailed information available upon request)
2018 48* (view detailed list)
2017 43
2016 39
2015 25
2014 32
2013 44

Average #of deaths per year: 38 (one every 9 days)

Highest # of fatalities for a one-year time period – 2010: 49

* waiting on autopsies to confirm 2 possible deaths near Kearney, MO on 7/4/2018



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Fatal Distraction

Pulitzer Prize winning article by Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post

How We Can Protect Children From Dying in Hot Cars

Editorial published on Time.com


What Happens in Your Brain When Kids Are Left Behind in Cars 

USA Today

Child Stories

Far too many children have been inadvertently left in vehicles or have gotten into a vehicle on their own. Vehicular heatstroke tragedies change the lives of parents, families, and communities forever. The stories at the links below are about children whose lives were lost, and near misses, after becoming trapped inside of a hot vehicle.

Bishop Collins
Harrison Chase
Near Misses
Fact Sheet


Heat Stroke Fact Sheet  

English [PDF] 

Spanish [PDF]

Mandarin Chinese [PDF]

Arabic [PDF]


Safety Tips

Learn simple tips on how to keep your children safe in and around vehicles.

Heat Stroke Safety Tips


English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]

Mandarin Chinese [PDF]

Arabic [PDF]

Charts, Statistics, Graphics

Below are KidsAndCars.org charts and graphs which can be downloaded for free and are excellent education materials. We encourage you to share, print, copy, distribute, or enlarge them; but we ask that no changes be made.

Click on an image below to open a full PDF file of the chart.. Please note, the PDF files are large and may take some time to open in your browser.

Airbag vs. Heatstroke Fatalities (1990-2017)

English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]

Look Before You Lock

“Look Before You Lock” parent education cards & safety checklist

English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]

Chinese [PDF]

Child Vehicular Heatstroke Fatalities by State (1990-2017)

English [PDF]


Child Vehicular Heatstroke Fatalities by Year (1990-2017)

English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]


Heatstroke Infographic

English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]

Child Nontraffic Fatalities by Type (2013-2017)

English [PDF]

Spanish [PDF]

Child Nontraffic Fatalities INSIDE vs. OUTSIDE the vehicle (2013-2017)

English [PDF]

Social Media Posts

Hashtags: #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock

  • Technology exists to prevent hot car deaths, HOT CARS Act! #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • A simple reminder in cars could prevent hot car deaths #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • See a child alone in a car? Get involved! Call 911 ASAP. #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • The difference between life or death is minutes in a hot car. #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • Protecting children is everyone’s business. Get involved. Call 911. Save a life. #heatstrokekills
  •  Be prepared to save a baby in a hot car with a resqme tool… get it today at /resqme-tool/  #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • Always check the back seat for baby! #lookbeforeyoulock #heatstrokekills
  • Ask childcare to call if baby doesn’t show up as planned! #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • Always keep cars locked & keys out of reach of children. If a child is missing – check in all cars! #heatstrokekills #lookbeforeyoulock
  • A car is not a babysitter. NEVER leave a child or animal alone inside a vehicle, not even for a minute! #lookbeforeyoulock #heatstrokekills
ALWAYS-check-the-back-seat    Daddy-thinks
 Even-a-loving-parent  Every year on average
State Laws

English [PDF]

Click here for more info


Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and Videos

Heighten awareness about the dangers children face in and around motor vehicles with KidsAndCars.org’s Public Service Announcements. Please encourage TV stations, hospital, doctor offices, public health offices, parenting classes, etc., to share this life-saving information.


Heatstroke Studies

Below are studies specific to vehicular heatstroke injuries and deaths. There have been several studies published about vehicular heatstroke but there is still much to be learned.


KidsAndCars.org believes the solution to these preventable tragedies is a combination of education and technology. KidsAndCars.org would like all vehicles to come equipped with a system that would alert a driver if a child has been left in the vehicle. The HOT CARS Act has been recently introduced and would require technology in call vehicles to prevent heatstroke tragedies – learn more here.


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