Children are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. If you leave your kids unattended, in or near a vehicle, it may not be long before they are playing in it. Hide and seek can turn deadly if they get trapped in the trunk, where temperatures can rise very quickly—resulting in heatstroke or asphyxiation.
As of September 1, 2001, automobile manufacturers are required to equip all new vehicle trunks with a ‘glow in the dark’ trunk release inside the trunk compartment. Show your kids how to use the release in case of an emergency. If your car is older and does not have the ‘glow in the dark’ trunk release, ask your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.
Share more injury prevention tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Teach children that vehicle trunks are for cargo, not for playing.
- Check the trunk right away if your child is missing.
- Lock your car doors and trunk and be sure keys and remote entry devices are out of sight and reach of your kids.
- Keep the rear fold-down seats closed/locked to keep your children from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.
It is important to know that even in cooler temperatures, a vehicle can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. An outside temperature in the mid 60s can cause the inside temperature of a vehicle to rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The inside temperature of a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes!
Get more information on child safety in and around vehicles from NHTSA.