It happens every summer. You hear about it on the news. It is usually unintentional, accidental, and devastating. Quiet, sleeping babies are left in hot cars. It seems unthinkable—how could a parent forget their child? However, even the best of parents get into their routine, are overwhelmed by the stress of everyday life, and their mind is somewhere else when they exit their vehicle. According to a USA Today report, an average of 38 children have died in hot cars each year in the United States since 1998. More than half of heat stroke deaths occur because a caregiver forgot the child in the car. Other heat stroke deaths occur when a child gets into a car without the caregiver knowing and can’t get out.
Temperatures Rise Quickly, Even on Cool Days, and Cracking the Windows Does NOT Help
Researchers from Stanford University published a study finding that even on relatively cool days, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out. A vehicle can heat up to 20 degrees in 10 minutes. The study also found that cracking windows doesn’t help.
Hot Cars Often Prove Fatal for Pets as Well
While it may be unthinkable to purposely leave a child in a parked car, people frequently leave their pets in parked cars to run quick errands. Hot cars are deathtraps for pets. PETA warns that animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
With New Mexico temperatures reaching 100 degrees in the summer months, New Mexico residents need to be on high alert.
Take Whatever Steps Are Necessary to Save the Lives of Children and Animals In Hot Cars
Do not, under any circumstance leave your child or pet in a vehicle for any length of time. Death by heatstroke is preventable. If you see a child or pet in a hot car, take action immediately. If the vehicle is in a car parking lot, go into the store or business and have it announced. Some states, like Florida, have recently enacted laws allowing individuals to break into cars to save vulnerable pets and people. At Keller and Keller, we encourage you to take whatever action necessary to save the life of an animal or child.