Don’t Leave Your Children or Pets in a Hot Car!
While warm and toasty summer days may be perfect for the beach, rising outdoor temperatures can be a deadly force to be reckoned with inside an automobile. Leaving children or pets inside a car with temperatures gaining exorbitant momentum is a risk no one can afford to take.
Missing the mark on how hot the inside of a car can actually get could cost lives. There are many misconceptions regarding the relationship between external temperatures and car interior temperatures. Just because it is 78 degrees outdoors does not mean the inside of a car is the same temperature. Due to a car’s ability to absorb heat from its metals and fabrics, not to mention surrounding elements like concrete and asphalt, the temperatures will actually soar inside a car even on a cooler day. A 78-degree day outside means a car’s interior temperatures raise as high as 100-120 degrees. When outside temperatures rise, car interior’s temperatures continue to rise higher and higher. Leaving a window cracked is also little consolation for cooling the inside of car and temperatures can continue to escalate.
It is important to understand that the delicate systems of children and pets are more susceptible to the negative effects of escalating temperatures. Such defenselessness leaves the innocent to succumb to heat-related issues like heat stroke and even death.
Children are extremely prone to the dangers of rising temperatures, especially when left inside any car, regardless of the time of day. Believe it or not, even an outdoor temperature as low as 57 degrees can still produce an overheated car interior to dangerous levels. Leaving a child inside an automobile for any amount of time sends survival rates plummeting downward in a hurry. Considering a child’s body temperature can rise up to 5 times faster than a grown man or woman’s body temperature means the likelihood of a child suffering from heat stroke, many times resulting in death, all too often becomes a reality.
A dog can easily suffer brain damage from heat stroke or death in as little as 15 minutes when left in a closed, heating car. Their internal cooling mechanisms are limited to panting and sweating between paw pads, thus leaving them vulnerable to insistent overheating. It only takes a single moment for children and animals to become victims to temperature-related injuries or death.
It is important as parents, pet owners and by-standers of our communities to quickly recognize the signs of heat-related injuries. Many people believe it safe to leave pets and children in cars for “only a moment”. It is within this time-frame the dangers of heat-related injuries increase.
What should be done if a child, older adult or animal is discovered to be alone inside a car, even if windows are cracked? The answer is: ACT IMMEDIATELY. Try to find guardians or owners quickly. If unable to locate them, check to see if there is accessible entry. If doors are locked call 911 immediately with pertinent information such as car make, model and color, and license plate number. Do not leave the scene until help has arrived.
If unlocked, calmly assess the being’s condition. In children, look for responsiveness, fatigue or sleepiness, skin redness or hotness, rapid heartbeat, nausea or vomiting.
In dogs, look for dark tongues, restlessness, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, or uncoordinated movement. Actually any of these responses can be applied to almost any living being.
Awareness and pro-action can significantly aid in reducing heat-related automobile injuries. Where there is heart, there is hope. New Look Auto Collision Center encourages you to help keep heat-related car accidents down by becoming proactive in your community today.