The 4-Safety Program

Vehicular Heatstroke and Entrapment Safety

With 743 reported deaths since 1998, as of February 2018, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children.

Simply stated, a child should never be left unattended in a car, even for a few minutes.

The interior temperatures in cars can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes! And you should never be fooled by the temperature outside of the car. Because a child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s, heatstroke deaths have occurred in vehicles when the outside temperature was as low as 57°F.

ACT: Avoid, Create, Take Action

It is important to recognize that 100 percent of all vehicle-related heatstroke deaths are preventable. Incorporating the acronym ACT into your daily routine can help prevent this tragedy

Avoid vehicle heatstroke deaths by never leaving your child, or pet, alone in a car. Be sure to always lock your vehicle so kids cannot enter on their own.

Create reminders by putting personal items in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine.

Take action if you see a child left unattended in a vehicle. Call 9-1-1.

Learn more about vehicular heatstroke and entrapment safety with these resources

Did You Know?

  • Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. (
  • In 55 percent of vehicle-related heatstroke deaths, parents/caregivers unknowingly left children in cars. (
  • 87 percent of vehicle-related heatstroke fatalities claimed the lives of children younger than 3 years old. (

Learn More

Vehicular Heatstroke and Entrapment Safety Videos

KidsandCars: Look Before You Lock

KidsandCars: A Car is Like an Oven

SafeKids: Gary on the Street

SafeKids: Heatstroke – Could it Happen to Your Child?

SafeKids: Reggie McKinnon Shares How He Lost His Daughter to Heatstroke

RedCastle Crusade: One Decision

WJAR-TV: Hot Car

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Bystander Saves Baby’s Life

Baby Left in Car — Social Experiment