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Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Kids Or Pets Alone In A Hot Car

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

If you’re trying to keep cool this summer, being stuck inside a car is definetely not the place to be.

This is especially true for small children and pets, who are essentially trapped inside. It doesn’t take long for your car to become an oven of death.

Children aren’t able to regulate heat the way an adult can. When your temperature reaches 104 degrees, you risk heat stroke, and children can reach this temperature three to five times faster than an adult.

A meteorologist put a little video together to show just how long it takes for a car to become lethal for a child. It took 10 minutes for the inside of the car to reach 105 degrees. After 30 minutes, the car was a toasty 125 degrees.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is promoting Heatstroke Awareness Day on July 31 with the hope that deaths and serious injuries can be prevented by increasing awareness. Even though it seems that we’ve been inundated with safety reminders, leaving children and pets in cars still happens. In many cases, it’s an accident, though it can be difficult to distinguish between honest oversight and raging stupidity. A parent on their way to work can get distracted, a child may fall asleep in the car and with no noise to remind them, the daycare dropoff gets forgotten.The child then swelters until someone notices they’re missing…hopefully before its too late!

Here are some safety tips:

- Keep your briefcase or work bag in the back seat of the car, next to your child’s car seat. It’s an easy way to remind yourself to open a back door.

- Keep your cell phone on the floorboard of the back seat.

- Keep something beside you in the front seat, such as a stuffed animal, as a reminder the child is in the back seat.

- Make an arrangement with your daycare provider that they will call should you not show up on a day the child is scheduled for care.

- When a child is missing, check vehicles and trunks immediately.

- If you see a child or pet in car alone on a hot day, get involved. Call police or a security guard if it is a building parking lot. If they seem tired or sick, call 911 immediately. Only break the window glass yourself as a last resort and if first-responder help is not immediate.

Stay cool and stay safe!

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