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Teach Your Children How to Avoid Trunk Entrapment

Teach Your Children How to Avoid Trunk Entrapment

Children are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings, so most parents are vigilant 24/7. But, we can’t be there all the time. So, if you leave your kids unattended, in or near a vehicle, it won't be long before they are playing in it. Hide and seek can turn deadly if they get trapped in the trunk, where temperatures can rise very quickly - resulting in heatstroke or asphyxiation. So, here are some tips from all of us at  Auto Craft Collision Center - Fairhope on how to prevent this tragic scenario, brought to you during the back-to-school season.

Several years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) In general, it appears that the victims of trunk entrapment include two distinct categories: People who are intentionally locked in a motor vehicle trunk by criminals and children who inadvertently lock themselves in the trunk. The one we’re analyzing here is an accidental trunk entrapment for obvious reasons.

In order to design an effective solution especially for children it is necessary to understand the thought process and reactions of young children who are frightened and in the dark. Other issues include trunk release location and possible power requirements to illuminate the trunk release mechanism. Any solution that would benefit children would also benefit adults.

During the review of the available data on trunk entrapment NHTSA discovered that the method of trunk entry varied for the children who inadvertently locked themselves in the trunk, i.e., some used keys to open the trunk, while others got into the trunk without using the key-either a driver's side trunk release lever or a manual release on the trunk itself was present.

Trunk entrapment also is possible by entering through the opening of fold-down rear seat backs that latch when subsequently closed.

Prevention Tips

  • Instruct children that vehicle trunks are for storing things and not for their amusement.
  • Always supervise your children carefully when in and around vehicles.
  • Check the trunk right away if your child is missing.
  • Lock your car doors and trunk and be sure keys and remote entry devices are out of sight and reach of your kids.
  • Keep the rear fold-down seats closed/locked to keep your children from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.
  • Even in cooler temperatures, your vehicle can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. An outside temperature in the mid 60s can cause a vehicle’s inside temperature to rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
  • Younger children are more sensitive to heat than older children and adults, and are at greater risk for heatstroke.
  • High temperature, humidity and poor ventilation create an extremely dangerous environment in a vehicle trunk.

Retrofit Your Car

Thanks to new technology and car manufacturers who are always looking for safer cars, trunks are not the death traps they use to be.

  • As of September 1, 2001, auto manufacturers were required to equip all new vehicle trunks with a 'glow in the dark' trunk release inside the trunk compartment.
  • Show your kids how to use the release in case of an emergency. If your car is older and does not have the 'glow in the dark' trunk release, ask your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.
  • When you buy a new vehicle, make sure that you carefully read the owner’s manual, which should outline the details about safety, including the trunk. By knowing all of the ins and outs of your trunk, you can relate them to your kids and hopefully prevent any entrapments now or in the future.


By being vigilant and playing it smart, trunk entrapments won’t occur, but if they do, you’ll now be prepared, thanks to these tips brought to you by  Auto Craft Collision Center - Fairhope , the finest collision repair company in the entire state of  AL.

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