Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The National Weather Service is predicting high temperatures nearing 90 degrees or higher in the next week, so Kira Huck with Safe Kids Missoula and Community Health Alliance provided some timely tips to prevent the tragedy of leaving a child inside a hot vehicle.

Huck reminded drivers about just how quickly a car’s interior can heat up in the summer.

Hot Weather Requires Keeping Children Safe in Car Seats

“It can get very hot, and the temperatures can rise really quickly,” began Huck. “In fact, the temperature can rise nearly 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Cracking the window and parking in the shade doesn't do a whole lot to prevent it from rising to dangerous levels. In addition, a child’s body temperature rises much faster than an adult, which is why it can become a deadly situation so quickly.”

Huck provided an acronym to help remind parents and caregivers about children in car seats.

Remember the Acronym 'A-C-T'  to Remember Children in Car Seats

“ ‘A’ stands for, avoid heat stroke by never leaving a child alone in a car, even just for a minute,” she said. ‘C’ stands for, create reminders, such as taking steps to help prevent heat stroke by creating a reminder, either setting a reminder on your phone, working with your daycare provider to have them call if the child is not dropped off by a certain time, or maybe even placing something in the back seat that you need at your final destination. Then ‘T’ is taking action, and that is for everybody. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911, they're trained to respond to these types of emergencies.”

Huck said parents can get busy and urges great caution and cooperation to keep kids safe in vehicles.

“It's often due to a change in routine, and these are often caring, loving parents, and the act is not intentional,” she said. “It can seem unfathomable that it could happen, but we want everyone to have the mindset that it could happen so that they're taking steps to prevent it from happening at all.”

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Help is Available to Install Infant Car Seats Safely

For new parents and grandparents, Huck said help is available to provide assistance in properly installing a child's car seat.

“On the second Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Missoula Rural Fire will check your car seat, and that's done by appointment,” she said. “You can also call Safe Kids Missoula at 406-926-2522, and they can help install your car seat by appointment. And if they aren't available, then they can connect you with another tech in the community.”

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Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham

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