Kids in hot cars: tips on how to avoid a tragedy

Toronto police confirmed yesterday that a three-year-old boy has died after being left in a hot car for a prolonged period of time.

Sadly, this tragic turn of events can happen to any parent or caregiver who has a temporary lapse of attention or disruption of a daily routine. Even if a window is rolled down two inches, when the outside temperature is in the low 20s (Celsius), the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child's body temperature may increase three to five times as fast an adult. High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or even death.

By incorporating the following small measures into your daily routine, you can help prevent this type of tragedy from happening.

·       Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

·       Make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away.

·       Always place an item (purse, bag, etc.) in the backseat so that you have to open the door every time you leave the vehicle.

·       When you arrive at your destination, avoid any distractions including talking on the phone or texting while you exit your car.

If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.


Stephanie Tsirgiotis
Public Relations and Communications
Montreal Children’s Hospital
[email protected]
Tel: 514-412-4400, x23870