A public service of KidsAndCars.org.

Heat Is Deadly for People and Pets

by | Jul 26, 2015 | Health & Wellness, Weather

By Susan Larson

The combination of heat and humidity will cause the heat index to reach 100 degrees by Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes inside a car, according Safecar.gov.  When outside temperatures are only in the 60s, the temperature inside a car can rise to more than 110 degrees.  Leaving a window rolled down does not help.

“Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside.”

“A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.”  High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or even death.”

How Not to Forget: Don’t Leave Children in Hot Cars

“On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles,” KidsandCars.org.  “Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.”

Put your purse, briefcase or whatever you must take out of the car with you next to the child—not in the front seat with you.
Situate a mirror in the backseat so you can see children easily who are still small enough to be in rear-facing child seats.
“Look Before You Lock” – make it a habit of opening the back door and looking inside every single time you get out of your car, even if you think you’re sure you don’t have a child with you.
Put a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied, and move the stuffed animal to the front seat when the child is in the car seat. The stuffed animal will serve as a visual reminder in the front seat with you.
Make sure your child’s daycare center or babysitter calls you if your child does not show up as scheduled.

Heat and Pets

Pets should not be left outside or in cars on hot, humid days. Even with shade and water, pets, like people, can overheat.  Law enforcement offer these tips:

Never leave pets in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures can rapidly rise to dangerous levels.
Shade and water are vital to pets. Pet owners must provide adequate shelter protecting animals from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, and adverse effects of heat or cold. A dog house in the backyard with no access to shade does not protect animals from sun.
Limit exercise on hot days. Take care to adjust intensity and duration of exercise. Watch for shortness of breath and remember that asphalt gets very hot and can burn paws; walk your dog on the grass if possible.
Recognize the symptoms of heatstroke. If your pet shows signs such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, fever, dizziness, restlessness, excessive thirst and profuse salivation, contact your veterinarian immediately. Take steps to reduce the animal’s body temperature; apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest, provide water and ice cubes for hydration, and move the animal into the shade or air-conditioning.

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