21 kids have died in hot cars in 2018. Here's how to prevent it

'Look before you lock' campaign by KidsAndCars.org aims to save lives

KidsAndCars.org recommends children never be left alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute (photo provided by organization).

So far this year in the U.S., 21 children have died after being left in hot cars, according to the organization KidsAndCars.org.

Every year nationwide, an average of 37 children die in hot vehicles, the group said in a statement Tuesday.

Last year, 43 kids died due to vehicular heatstroke.

The KidsAndCars organization has issued a warning for parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant during the holiday week, and when changes take place to people’s daily routines.

Here are some suggestions on ways to make sure your child isn’t left in the back seat:

-- Make it a routine to open the back door of your car every time you park, to check that no one has been left behind. 

-- Put something you need in the back seat (such as your cellphone or employee badge) to remind you to open the back door every time you park.

-- Ask your child care provider to call you if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.

-- Keep a stuffed animal in your baby’s car seat. Place it on the front passenger seat as a reminder when the baby is in the back seat.

And to make sure children can’t enter a parked car ...

-- Keep cars locked at all times, even in the garage or in the driveway -- and even if you don’t have children.

-- Don’t leave keys or remote openers within reach of any kids.

-- If a child is missing, check the car immediately and thoroughly.

For more information, visit this page.