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Don’t Leave a Child or Pet in a Parked Car

Getting Trapped in a Parked Car in the Summer Can Be Deadly

As summer heats up, remember that leaving a child inside a car — even for a few minutes — can lead to heatstroke, or worse.

A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, so even parking in the shade with windows open creates a dangerous risk for anyone left inside.

Mild weather can be deceiving, too. On a 70-degree day, a car’s internal temperature can reach 89 degrees in just 10 minutes and 104 degrees in 30 minutes. Heatstroke begins when a body’s core temperature reaches about 104 degrees and is deadly at 107 degrees.

In 2019, 52 children died in the U.S. after being left or trapped in a vehicle. Sheer forgetfulness was one of the major causes. A rushed or distracted caregiver can easily forget about a quiet child, especially on days that differ from a usual routine.

Here’s how you can keep your child safe:

  • Put something in the back seat that will be needed at the next stop, such as a purse or briefcase, to remind you that a child is on board.
  • Request to be contacted immediately when your child does not arrive at school, day care or other activity.
  • Discuss hot-car safety with everyone who drives your child, including partners, grandparents and babysitters.
  • It is also important to keep vehicles locked at all times, even when parked in a garage or driveway, so young kids cannot climb in and become trapped.
  • And when you see an unattended child in a vehicle, take action. Call 911 and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.

Hot cars can be deadly for animals, too. If you cannot bring your pet into a store or restaurant with you, the best protection is to leave them at home.

Want to find out how hot your car will be within 30 minutes based on the current temperature? Visit nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke.

About AAA Washington:

As one of the largest leisure travel agencies in the state, AAA Washington has the most up-to-date information on travel bookings and trends. You do not have to be a AAA member to use our travel services. From taking a road trip to an around-the-world sail, our trusted experts offer personalized travel planning to ensure you find the best and safest ways to reach and enjoy your destination. Additional information is available at our stores in Washington and north Idaho or through www.AAA.com.

AAA Washington Media Contacts

Kelly Just | 425-647-1594
Twitter: @AAA_Washington
Facebook: AAA Washington

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Media Contact

Kelly Just

Public Affairs Manager
425-647-1594
KellyJust@aaawa.com

Location
Bellevue Corporate Office
3605 132nd Ave. SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

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