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Car Safety in Hot Weather

Often we think of car safety in winter when ice and flooding spring to mind. However the summer also brings it’s own special concerns, especially with regard to keeping your passengers safe in hot weather. With general traffic jams over the holiday season and the recent problems seen with people wanting to get onto ferries at Dover, it’s a good idea to ensure your car is stocked up with plenty of bottled water, food and snacks and a change of clothing when you travel. Blankets and coats are also must-have items to keep in the boot when on a long journey.

Obviously adults can easily make it known to the driver if they are feeling over heated, and when a car is parked they can get out of the vehicle to cool down. By contrast children are often unable to let us know if they are feeling hot, nor can they fend for themselves if left in a car.

It’s amazing to realise that a car can become as hot as an oven even on warm, rather than hot days. When it’s 22c outside, a car can reach 47c inside within an hour!  Always make sure that children have removable layers of clothing and accessible drinks to hand when out and about. It’s a good idea to use screens on windows and these can be bought cheaply at many high street and online outlets. You might even consider a peaked hat for children to wear in their car seats to keep the sun off of them.

Obviously pets are unable to cope with being left in cars, and this is something many people automatically think of. Indeed the RSPCA state “Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.” It is an extremely sad fact that children can also die of heat-stroke in hot cars; here are some top safety tips for keeping your children safe in the car this summer (you can find out more at KidsAndCars.org.)

  • Never leave a child or children in a car on their own

  • When you lock your car, always check there is nobody left in it, especially in the back seats and boot area

  • Keep your car locked at all times on your drive / garage to prevent a child from getting inside when you are not around

  • Keep car keys and remotes out of reach of children

  • Pay for fuel at the pump

  • If you see a child in a car on their own, check they are safe, if they are showing signs of heat-stroke call 999 if you are in any way concerned

  • Wait with them until help arrives and take advice from the emergency services as to the best course of action

  • Share these tips with family members, care-givers and child minders

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