73897173 - toddler girl buckled into her car seatIt doesn’t matter if it’s not that hot outside. Children can find themselves in danger in a hurry if they’re left unattended in parked vehicles. Even with the windows cracked 2 inches, the temperature inside a vehicle can become deadly hot in just 10 minutes when the weather outside is just over 80 degrees.

That’s scary. If you have small children, never leave a child unattended in a car for any amount of time, even with the windows rolled down. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body does. And the younger the child, the less able they are to regulate their body temperature.

About 87 percent of children who have died in hot cars were under the age of 3, and most deaths occur from April through September. In a number of those cases, a parent left the child in a car briefly thinking it would be OK. In other instances, a child climbed into an unlocked car and either fell asleep or wasn’t able to get the doors open to exit the car once the temperature started to climb. When you’re at home, always lock vehicle doors to keep children from playing in your car. You may also want to consider keeping your car keys out of a child’s reach.

Each year, parents accidentally leave their children in a vehicle while on their way to work or while running errands. Don’t think it can’t happen to you! Psychologists say this can happen to any parent. Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the car. This may include placing a purse or a briefcase in the back seat, forcing you to look backward before getting out of the vehicle. It may take a few extra minutes, each time, but always look in the backseat to assure that everyone is out of the car. There also are safety devices that can alert drivers if a child has been left behind in the rear seat or a car seat. It could be the best purchase you’ll ever make.

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