Car Safety :: Tips to Ensure Your Kids Aren’t Left in the Car


My kids are loud. Really loud. They’re the kind of kids who start talking the moment they wake up and don’t stop until bedtime. And I’m pretty sure at least one of them talks in his sleep. They’re loud. But they haven’t always been.

I remember having a friend pick my oldest son up from daycare when he was younger than a year old. When I went to pick him up, she said she never understood how parents could leave their kids in the car until she had my son in the car. He didn’t make a sound the entire 20 minute ride home. She couldn’t even hear him breathing. And then she understood.

It’s summer in Arizona, and we’re seeing triple-digit temperatures in Phoenix.  Across the country, the stories are starting to pour in: a son left in a hot car all day; a daughter forgotten in the car while her parents work. These aren’t bad parents. They are people who made a mistake that any one of us could have.  And that’s what makes it so awful. As we enter actual summer (I call it phase 2), it’s critical that we employ some car safety tips to keep our kids safe, even when we’re sleep-deprived and stressed (aka living the parenting dream).

Kids in the Car Safety North Phoenix Moms Blog

Car Safety :: Tips to Ensure Your Kids Aren’t Left in the Car

  1. Be extra careful when you change routines. Many hot car deaths happen when parents make a change to their typical routine. Maybe Dad drops off and you pick up, and for whatever reason, you swap that day. It’s super easy to go off muscle memory.  How many times have you unconsciously headed home instead of to the grocery store like you planned? For the days you swap, be sure to double and triple check. I typically do kid pick-up and on days my husband and I swap, I look in the backseat often, just to make sure. And we text each other reminders: How did it go? Don’t forget to pick up at 4 p.m. We do this to help each other because this isn’t part of our daily/weekly routine, not because we don’t trust each other.
  2. Put something of yours in the backseat. I haven’t tried this, but I’ve seen this suggested many times. Maybe put your purse in the backseat, or your left shoe, or your cell phone (you shouldn’t be texting and driving anyway!) Put something in the back with your child that you would definitely notice as missing if you get out of the car without it.  An added level of protection to this would be to put one of your child’s items in the front seat, as a reminder to you that he/she is in the car (a book, pacifier, blanket, toy, etc).
  3. Set yourself a reminder. We set reminders for everything else, so why not for something this important? You can set it to go off before, during, and after your commute so you have three times you’re reminded to pick up or drop off your child.
  4. NEVER leave your child in the car – even if you’re “only going to be a second.” There isn’t anything more annoying than realizing you forgot to grab milk after you’ve already loaded up the groceries and strapped the kids into their car seats, but leaving them is absolutely not safe.  Either forget the milk or unload the kids. It’s aggravating, for sure, but don’t chance leaving the kids in the car  – even with the windows down: there have been several experiments that show exactly how hot it gets in a car with the windows down.

What car safety tips do you have, use or would recommend?  


  1. Great points, and no one wants to think it could happen to them but it unfortunately can. I like the idea of texting or checking in with your partner, especially if it’s a day when the routine is off.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here