NEW YORK (WWTI) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging parents to “Look Before You Lock.”

As warmer temperatures continue to impact most of the east coast, the Administration is warning of the dangers of hot cars. According to the NHTSA, nearly 900 children have died of a heatstroke since 1998 due to being left in a hot car.

Additionally, child are more vulnerable to heat related illnesses, as a child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches around 104 degrees, and a child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees. The NHTSA warns that if left in a hot car, children can die within minutes.

To prevent these deaths, the National Traffic Safety Administration urges parents to practice the following habits:

  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended, even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running with the air conditioning on.
  • Make it a habit to check the entire vehicle before locking and walking away from the car.
  • Ask childcare provider to call if the child does not show up as expected.
  • Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the backseat as another reminder.
  • Keep keys out of reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.

Everyone, including bystanders can help by following these steps:

  • Always lock your car doors and trunk year-round so that children can not get into unattended vehicles.
  • If you see a child alone in a locked car, call 911 immediately.

For more information, those interested can visit the NHTSA website.