Buckling your child up is just one way to help prevent injuries. It’s also important to be aware of the other hazards cars can pose to kids. Preventing backover and frontover incidents, heat stroke and trunk entrapment are just as important to keeping your kids safe in and around vehicles.

Each year, more than 9,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for injuries that occurred while they were unattended in or around motor vehicles. Many of these preventable injuries occur when drivers are unaware of children near vehicles.

Trunk Entrapment

Kids love cars, and when they see a parked car, they don’t even think about the possibility of getting hurt or seriously injured. That’s why parents have to. Many preventable injuries and deaths occur in driveways or parking lots when drivers are unaware that children are near vehicles. Tragically, these drivers are often family members or friends of the injured child. But these injuries are easily prevented by following a few simple tips.

Top Tips

  • We know you’re often in a hurry, but before you drive away, take a few seconds to walk all the way around your parked car to check for children.
  • Designate a safe spot for children to wait when nearby vehicles are about to move and make sure the drivers can see them.
  • Accompany little kids when they get in and out of a vehicle. Hold their hands while walking near moving vehicles or in driveways and parking lots or on sidewalks.
  • Always lock a vehicle’s doors and trunk – especially when parked in the driveway or near the home – and keep keys out of children’s sight and reach.
  • If a child is missing, check vehicles and trunks first.
  • If you see an unattended child in a car dial 911 immediately.
  • Be aware of child-resistant locks. Teach older children how to disable the driver’s door locks should they become unintentionally entrapped in a motor vehicle. A toddler will not know to climb into the front seat to climb out of the vehicle.
  • If you find your child in a locked car, get him out and dial 911 or your local emergency number immediately to check for signs of heat stroke.
  • Teach children that trunks are only used to transport cargo and are not safe places to play.
  • Show older children how to locate and use the emergency trunk release found in newer cars.
  • Keep the rear fold-down seats closed to help prevent kids from getting into the trunk from inside the car.

Spot the Tot: Preventing “Backover” or “Frontover” Tragedies

Walk all the way around

Danger can come from any direction, and parents must be aware of the risk of “backover” or “frontover” incidents. Many of these preventable injuries and deaths occur in driveways or parking lots when drivers are unaware children are near vehicles. Tragically, these drivers are often family members or friends of the injured child.

Parents, caregivers, drivers, and kids can all do their part to make sure that children do not share the same space as vehicles.

  • Walk all the way around your parked vehicle to check for children – or anything that can attract a child, like pets or toys – under or behind your vehicle before getting in and starting the engine.
  • Accompany young children when they get in and out of a vehicle.
  • Identify and use safe play areas for children away from parked or moving vehicles. Block driveways so cars cannot enter and exit.
  • Designate a safe spot within a driver’s sight for children to wait when nearby vehicles are about to move.
  • Firmly hold the hand of each child when walking near moving vehicles and when in driveways, in parking lots or on sidewalks.

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