CHIEF'S CORNER - Kids & Pets in Hot Cars
We are heading into the summer months and temperatures are already starting to heat up. We would like to take some time to remind our residents about the dangers of hot cars for our pets and children. Never leave a child or pet alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down or the air conditioning on. On a hot day a vehicle’s temperature can rise to dangerous levels in as little as ten minutes.
For children, heat exhaustion can occur at temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and heat stroke can occur when temperatures rise above 105 degrees. When a child is enclosed in a hot car, he/she loses body fluids and salts through sweating, causing heat exhaustion. If not treated immediately, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when a child can no longer sweat and his/her body temperature rises, which can cause severe damage to the brain, liver and kidneys, even death.
Many pets die each year as a result of being left in parked cars during warm weather. During a mild summer day and even if parked in the shade, temperatures inside a parked car can reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit very quickly. A dog's normal body temperature is about 102 degrees, a dog can withstand an increase in body temperature to 106 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage or even death.
To avoid a tragedy, keep your pets at home where they have access to water and air conditioning. Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, even for a few minutes and keep these safety precautions in mind:
- Never leave your child or family pet unattended in a motor vehicle, even with the windows cracked open a few inches.
- Always lock car doors and trunks -- even at home -- and keep keys out of children's reach.
- Watch children and family pets closely around cars, particularly when loading or unloading items.
- Always make sure all children and family pets have left the car when you reach your destination.
- Don't overlook sleeping infants or pets.
- If your child or family pet gets locked inside a car, try to get them out and if you are unable to dial 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.
- When restraining children in a car that has been parked in the heat, check to make sure seating surfaces and equipment (car seats and seat belt buckles) aren't excessively hot.
- Be wary of child-resistant locks. Teach older children how to disable the driver's door lock.
If you see a young child or pet unattended in a vehicle, immediately contact police by dialing 911 or calling our non-emergency business line at 951-769-8500.