Look Before You Lock


As temperatures soar this summer, LDEQ encourages you to remember the dangers from excessive heat. According to national statistics, an average of 37 children die each year from being left unattended in vehicles. In the last two decades, there were 27 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths in Louisiana alone.

  • Never leave your child or pet alone in a car, not even for a minute.
  • Keep your car locked when you are not in it.
  • Create reminders by putting something in the back seat next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse, cell phone or your left shoe.
  • If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
  • Set a calendar reminder on your electronic device to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare; develop a plan so you will be alerted if your child is late or a no-show.

Vehicles can easily become the worst place for people or pets to be on a hot summer day here in Louisiana. In only 10 minutes, a vehicle can heat up 20 degrees and can reach 110 degrees when temperatures are only in the 60s. Heat stroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.

Some other important facts to remember:

  • Cracking the windows or not parking in direct sunlight does not make a car significantly cooler.
  • The body temperatures of children can increase three to five times faster than adults. Heat stroke begins when the body’s temperature passes 104 degrees.
  • More than 70 percent of heat stroke deaths occur in children younger than age 2. More than half of those occur because a caregiver forgot the child in the car.
  • Roughly 30 percent of heat stroke deaths occur because the child got in a car without a caregiver knowing and couldn’t get out.
  • Nearly 20 percent of deaths occur because a caregiver intentionally left the child in the car.

For more information on the signs of heat related illness and what to do in the event of one, visit the Louisiana Department of Health: