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Not Even for a Minute-Never Leave Children Unattended In or Around Vehicles

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The Children’s Trust Fund’s Not Even For A Minute (NEFAM) Campaign encourages parents and caregivers to NEVER leave children unattended in or around automobiles. Left alone in a vehicle for a short time, a child is in danger of heat stroke, dehydration, overheating, hypothermia, injury, abduction and even death.

This is a tragedy you can prevent!
Temperatures in cars soar quickly. Even with a window cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach very high and dangerous temperatures within minutes. In these extreme conditions, children can die or suffer a permanent disability in a matter of minutes.

Where’s Baby?  Look Before You Lock. 

  • NEVER leave children alone in or around vehicles, not even with the windows down. This applies to pets as well.
  • Check the back seat. Place an item you need to start your day — your purse, briefcase, laptop or other personal item — on the floorboard of the back seat in front of your child’s car seat to help you get in the habit of opening the back door every time you park.
  • Establish a routine of checking the back seat every time you exit the car to ensure no one is left behind.  Do not overlook sleeping infants.
  • Place your child’s diaper bag or a small toy in the front seat to serve as a constant, visible reminder of you child’s presence in the car.
  • Play children’s music when your child is with you to stay aware of their presence in the back seat.
  • Make your child as visible as possible. Place rear-facing car seats in the middle of the back seat.
  • Be extra careful during changes in your routine.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call you immediately if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
  • Keep cars locked and keys/remote openers out of reach of children at all times.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times, even at home.  Ask your friends & neighbors to do the same. Unlocked cars pose a risk to children who are naturally curious & often fearless.
  • Teach your children the dangers of a car & let them know it is not a toy or playground.
  •  Teach children to honk the horn, turn on the hazard lights & keep themselves visible to passersby if they ever become trapped in a vehicle.
    Know that the back door child safety locks could prevent your child from exiting the vehicle on their own. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to turn the locks on or off.
  • Try to plan ahead when you have errands. Run errands when your spouse, trusted neighbor or friend can watch your child.
  • Remember to use the drive-through convenience provided by banks, dry cleaners, pharmacies, restaurants & other businesses.
  • Pay at the pump at gas stations.
  • When a child is missing, check vehicles & trunks immediately.
  • If you see an unattended child in a car, call 911 immediately.

For additional information, visit:
Safe Kids USA
Preventing Child Deaths in Missouri-The Missouri Child Fatality Review Program Annual Report – State Technical Assistance Team (STAT)