According to NBC News, about 340 children have died from being left unattended in a vehicle in the last 10 years. Such tragedy does not have to happen; it can be avoided. Here are some suggestions you might want to incorporate into your daily routine if you have small children in your car.

– Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, lunch, or briefcase on the floor in the back seat.

– Get into the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination.

– Ask your child’s day care provider to phone you if your child doesn’t show up when expected. Many children’s lives could have been saved by a telephone call. Give childcare providers all phone numbers, including those of family members or friends.

– If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately.

– Keep a large teddy bear in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied.

When the child is placed in the seat, put the teddy bear in the front passenger seat.

Remember that driving a car is the single most dangerous thing we do each day. Always be sure to use an age-appropriate car seat when you have a small child in the car.

And, although flying on a scheduled airliner is certainly safer than riding in a car, don’t forget the car seat if you are flying with your little one.