As Temperatures Soar, AAA Warns Vehicle Owners About Heatstroke Dangers
BELLEVUE, Wash. — As temperatures across Washington and Northern Idaho climb to 90 degrees and beyond, AAA reminds drivers not to leave children or pets in a vehicle, even for a short amount of time.
In just ten minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can jump 20 degrees. Because a child’s body temperatures increases three to five times faster than adults, they are far more vulnerable to heatstroke. Last year, 52 kids died of vehicular heatstroke.
Parents, caregivers and pet owners can use these tips to prevent a tragedy:
- Never leave your child or pet in your vehicle, if only for a minute. Even on mild or overcast days, the internal temperature of a vehicle can increase quickly, causing possible heatstroke or even death.
- Sheer forgetfulness is one of the major causes of heatstroke deaths. A rushed or distracted caregiver can easily forget a quiet child who is in the vehicle. Create reminders and habits to prevent you from leaving a loved one behind. For example: leave an item in the back seat, such as a purse or briefcase, that you will need to retrieve at your next stop.
- Take action if you see an unattended child or pet in a vehicle. Call 911 and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
- Discuss the issue of hot-car safety with everyone who drives your child, including partners, grandparents and babysitters.
- If your pet can’t come with you when you get out of the vehicle leave the pet at home.
- Lock your car at all times – even in your garage or drive way – so young kids can’t climb into the vehicle without your knowledge.
“During the summer months, there is no safe amount of time to leave a child or a pet alone in a car,” said Kelly Just, AAA Washington spokesperson.