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National Heatstroke Prevention Campaign

Apr 28, 2022

NHTSA is reminding parents and caregivers to always “Look Before You Lock,” and for bystanders to “Take Action to Save a Life.”  Our national paid advertising campaign will run on radio and digital channels targeting general and Spanish-dominant markets to reach the primary audience of parents with young children. The digital ad campaign runs April 25-Sept. 25.  It is geotargeted to run in the states that have the highest incidents of heatstroke.

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related death for children in the United States, resulting in 906 fatalities among children 14 and younger from 1998-present. Here are key facts:

  • In 2021, 23 children died due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke. Their ages ranged from 5 months to 11 years old, but more than half were under the age of 2.
  • In 2020, 25 children died of pediatric vehicular heatstroke. 
  • From 1998 to the present, a total of 906 children have died due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke. Of the 906 children who died:
    • 52.7% were forgotten by a caregiver;
    • 25.8% gained access on their own; 
    • 20.1% were knowingly left by a caregiver; and
    • 1.4% died under unknown circumstances. 

Fortunately the number of heatstroke deaths in the last two years has been down, likely due to the pandemic. However, as COVID-19 restrictions ease and families and caregivers return to out-of-home routines, the potential for caregivers to “forget” and leave a child in a hot car increases when those routines are altered. We must continue our efforts to eliminate these completely preventable tragedies.

NHTSA has many resources available for your use to help share this important prevention message, including the attached toolkit that identifies actions you, your organizations and your partners can take. For the latest heatstroke material, please visit  And, below are relevant hashtags to use when posting about the campaign to tap into relevant conversations about heatstroke:

  • #NoHeatstroke
  • #HeatstrokeKills
  • #WheresBaby
  • #ParkLookLock
  • #ActFast
  • #CheckForBaby