NHTSA Tips Seek to Prevent Children From Becoming Trapped in Trunks

Posted on September 12, 2012

One of the most dangerous places for a child to play is in and around a stationary car, especially during the summertime.  The temperatures inside vehicles can rise drastically in a matter of minutes, and the threat is especially prevalent in the trunk.  To combat the risk, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to help parents out with a few safety tips.

Perhaps the easiest precaution parents can take is simply locking up their vehicle when it’s not going to be in use.  Keeping a vehicle sealed tight includes making sure that the backseats are kept in the upright position and locked so that a child can’t pull them down and access the trunk in that roundabout way.  To further prevent danger, keep the key somewhere where it can’t fall into the hands of a child.

Parents should also speak with their children directly about the danger posed by the trunks of vehicles.  Such a discussion should include directives not to play in the trunk and advice on what to do should a child become stuck inside anyway.  Every car made since 2001 has been equipped with a trunk release, so teach your kids how to operate it in an emergency.

Finally, something every parent should do regardless of whether a vehicle is nearby or not:  children should always be supervised while playing.

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