Amber Rollins, Kids and Car Safety, 913-205-6973

Janette Fennell, Kids and Car Safety, 415-336-9279

Kids and Car Safety Calls for Action TOMORROW

on National Heatstroke Prevention Day

As dedicated advocates for child and pet safety in vehicles, we at Kids and Car Safety (KACS) are asking the media to help promote National Heatstroke Prevention Day on May 1st. Kids and Car Safety stands at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness and prevent hot car deaths and injuries among children. This annual event serves as a reminder of the dangers of hot cars and the critical need for preventive action to safeguard our loved ones. Despite increased attention to the issue, misconceptions persist, and tragic incidents continue to occur at an alarming rate.

More than 1,083 children have died from heatstroke in hot cars since 1990, and at least another 7,500 survived with varying types and severities of injuries, according to data collected by Kids and Car Safety, the only organization in the U.S. that is tracking both fatal and non-fatal cases. This year, the organization has not yet documented any hot car fatalities. 

The overwhelming majority of victims are age five and younger, with rear-facing child safety seats often contributing to caregivers losing awareness of their child’s presence in the back seat. 

The majority of parents and caregivers are misinformed and believe that a hot car tragedy will never happen to them. 

In over half of hot car deaths, the responsible individual unknowingly left the child in the vehicle, often due to changes in routine, stress, or distractions. In about a fourth of tragedies, a child gains access to a vehicle on their own. Hot car tragedies happen to loving, caring, and protective parents in most situations. It has happened to a teacher, dentist, social worker, police officer, nurse, clergyman, soldier, and even a rocket scientist. It can happen to anyone. 

“As the weather warms, Kids and Car Safety is calling for heightened awareness and proactive measures to prevent hot car deaths and injuries, particularly among young children. With temperatures rising across the country, the risk of vehicular heatstroke becomes ever more prevalent, emphasizing the critical need for education and vigilance among caregivers,” said Janette Fennell, president of Kids and Car Safety.

Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers:

  • Never leave a child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute.
  • Take proactive steps to ensure a child is not inadvertently left in a vehicle.
  • Place a reminder item (diaper bag, stuffed animal) in the front seat as a visual cue when a child is with you.
  • Make it a habit to open the back door and check the back seat every time you leave your vehicle.
  • Be especially careful during changes in routine or during busy times.
  • Ask childcare providers to call you immediately if your child doesn’t show up as scheduled.
  • Prevent children from gaining access to parked vehicles.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times. 
  • Keep keys and fobs out of reach of children at all times.
  • If a child goes missing, check all vehicles' inside, floor, and trunk immediately, even if they’re locked.

By spreading awareness and implementing preventive measures, we can work together to protect our children and prevent future hot car tragedies. Join us in sharing these critical safety tips with your communities today and throughout the summer months.

Updates on Hot Car Technology: 

The Federal Hot Car rule, requiring available and affordable technology in all new cars to stop hot car deaths, has been unacceptably delayed, missing the critical deadline mandated by Congress in bipartisan legislation, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). While KACS works to educate families about measures they can take, the organization continues to push the NHTSA to move forward with this final rule without further delay.  Learn more. 

KACS wants to warn parents and caregivers about simple “end-of-trip reminder alerts” that are available in many vehicles today. These alerts provide a message on the dash to check the back seat and see if you have opened the back door before driving somewhere. They DO NOT detect a child in a vehicle and can be easily missed. KACS is already aware of six children who have died in vehicles with this type of system. 

Currently, several aftermarket products are available on the market, but these should be used only as an added layer of protection. SensorSafe technology is available in select Evenflo and Cybex car seats and uses a smart chest clip to alert parents to check the backseat when a child is buckled. The chest clip also connects to a cell phone APP that can alert parents if the child is inadvertently left behind. 

For more information on preventing hot car tragedies, please visit:

Hot Car Educational Videos:

Child gets into hot car, becomes trapped

Child Unknowingly Left in a Hot Car

What To Do if You See a Child Alone in a Vehicle


Hot Car Resources:

Hot car dangers fact sheet

Differences between rear seat reminder alert only & occupant detection

Occupant detection technology demonstration video


Memes charts, graphics, child stories, and other hot car resources can be found at


Take action to prevent hot car deaths:


#NationalHeatstrokePreventionDay #DetectToProtect #HeatstrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock 


Kids and Car Safety is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping young children and pets safe in and around vehicles.