Tips for driving with babies and kids in the summer heat

Consumer Reports News: July 20, 2010 01:08 PM

It’s hot outside, but even hotter inside a car. On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise another 20 degrees in just the first 10 minutes.

Here are some tips for driving in the summer heat with child passengers:

  • Be careful, when buckling up, not to touch the metal part of the seatbelt, as you can burn your child or yourself. (See our car seats buying guide and Ratings.)
  • Adjust the front air-conditioning vents so they direct air to the rear when you’re carrying child (or adult!) passengers in the rear seat and cargo areas of an SUV, wagon, or minivan, and there are no backseat temperature controls. (See Kids in hot cars.)
  • If carrying children or pets in the backseat, bring plenty of water and snacks, and plan to stop more often to tend to them. (See Pets and car safety.)
  • Put a sunshade in the rear window (as well as the windshield) when parked, to shade child car seats.

More summer car tips:

  • Park in the shade if possible.
  • If you’re parking in a secure area and there won’t be any rain, lower each window an inch or two and leave your sunroof in the tilt position to provide extra ventilation.
  • Open the windows for the first few minutes to let built-up heat escape.
  • Bring a towel to sit on if you're wearing shorts and have leather or vinyl seats, and a light pair of gloves in the car if you find the steering wheel too hot to handle.

Learn more in the full Cars blog post.

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