Hot Cars + Kids and Pets Don't Mix!
Every summer there are news reports of children or pets left alone in cars in warm temperatures, with tragic results. Each year, about 37 children die from being left unattended in hot cars. As we approach summer, keep in mind that temperatures inside your vehicle will rise: up to 19 degress in ten minutes, and up to 30 degrees in 20 minutes.
Even if it's 70 degrees outside, the interior of the car can climb to almost 100 degrees in a short time.
Leaving the windows cracked has little or no effect. The car’s interior experiences a “greenhouse effect,” where the sun’s heat gets trapped inside the vehicle. Paint color, upholstery, window tinting and more contribute more heat to the interior.
Children’s bodies are especially vulnerable, because they don’t regulate heat like adults do. (Pets are even more susceptible…their sweat glands are inadequate for cooling during hot days -- brain and organ damage can happen after just 15 minutes). Heatstroke can happen within minutes.
Never, ever leave your child or your pet in your car unattended. Never assume you’ll be “in and out” of a store in just a few minutes. Never underestimate how quickly the temperatures inside a car can rise, regardless of the outside temperatures. If you see a child or a pet alone inside a hot vehicle, always call 911.
AAA Northeast Traffic Safety Manager Diana Imondi discusses summer car seat safety.