This week’s high temperatures will make it extra dangerous and deadly for children or pets if left in a vehicle, even for a short amount of time.
BELLEVUE, Wash. — AAA Washington recommends parents, caregivers and pet owners to never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, even if the vehicle is parked in the shade or has a window open. On a mild or overcast day with an outside temperature of 70 degrees the internal temperature of a vehicle will increase to 104 degrees in just 30 minutes, causing a child or pet that was left in the vehicle to suffer heatstroke or possible death. In 2016, 39 young children in the U.S. died of heatstroke because they were left in a vehicle, and we’ve already seen 29 heat-related deaths this year.
Tips for parents and pet owners to prevent a tragedy:
- Avoid heatstroke by never leaving your child or pet in your vehicle, even for a minute.
- 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 that give you a safety net. For example: leave an item, such as a purse or wallet, you will need at your next stop in the back seat so you don’t forget about your loved one.
- 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 driver way – so young kids can’t climb into the vehicle without your knowledge.
Prevention is still the best way to keep from having a tragic death of a child or pet that was left in a hot car. Don’t let your loved one become a statistic; find out more about heatstroke prevention at SafeSeats4Kids.AAA.com.