Call Us 800.696.4503 / 406.761.6010


Summer safety

Every day, child care providers and parents across the country transport millions of children to and from child care centers and homes. In these summer months, car and bus transportation can become more dangerous as children left in vehicles are at increased risk of heatstroke. According to data from San Francisco State University, so far in 2014, at least 17 children have died of vehicular heatstroke. The Office of Child Care (OCC) is dedicated to working with child care providers, Head Start staff, parents, and other adults caring for young children to prevent these tragedies.

OCC and the Office of Head Start are partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to provide information to the early care and education community and parents on the importance of double-checking cars, buses, and vans to make sure that no children are left in vehicles and that they arrive safely, and we need your help.

Here are a few simple things child care providers can do:

Always make a habit of looking in the vehicle—front and back—before locking the door and walking away.
Get in touch with designated family members if a child who is regularly in your care does not arrive as expected.
Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you see a child alone in a hot vehicle. If he or she is in distress due to heat, get the child out as soon as possible and cool him or her down rapidly.
Take Ray Ray’s voluntary pledge here for providers and parents to make a commitment to working together to keep children safe.

Please help us spread the word and raise awareness by sharing this message with child care providers, parents, and other networks in your State, Territory, or Tribal community.


Linda K. Smith
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Shannon L. Rudisill
Office of Child Care
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services