The summer heat often prompts us to run our errands as quickly as possible, so we can get back indoors where it’s comfortable and cool. What many parents may not realize is the danger your infant or toddler faces in the hot car, especially if you leave them alone.

The Associated Press reports the number of child deaths from hot cars is on the rise this summer, with 8 hot car-related deaths since June 13, 2010. Many of the deaths in the last two weeks resulted after a child climbed into a hot car and locked themselves inside.

One reason child safety advocates are concerned with the numbers revolves around the fact that July tends to be the month when most accidents of this nature occur, and with so many deaths already occurring in June, July could see these numbers soar.

Experts advise that no matter what the circumstances, even if you only plan to be a minute, you should never leave your child alone in a hot car. A child’s respiratory system cannot handle the stifling heat as well as an adult can, making time spent in a hot car incredibly dangerous.

Keep a close eye on your kids this summer, and in order to keep them from playing in the hot car, always lock your doors and keep the keys out of reach. The Kids and Cars organization urges parents to establish a check system every time they exit the car that reminds them to check the back seat. Those small tasks could mean the difference between life and death.

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