It’s never fun to get into a car that’s been sitting in the sun all day long. But not being able to get out of the car in the first place is worse. We talk a lot about the things that you should keep on hand during the warmer months, but there are a few things you should never leave in your car this summer.
Did you know that on average, 38 children die in hot cars each year?
Cars heat up much more quickly than you might think. Even on cooler days, a parked car can become like an oven in just minutes. In many cases, the temperature inside a vehicle can increase nearly 20 degrees in ten minutes. Pets, children, and the elderly are particularly susceptible to temperature changes. They can start experiencing heat stroke within 15 minutes, and it can be deadly.
There are also many factors to keep in mind that might make your child or pet more vulnerable. The most obvious is living in a warmer climate. Typically, southern states see more of these incidents than those in the northeast. For pets, you have to be more careful if they’re very young or old, already have health problems, are overweight, or are specific breeds. Dogs with shorter snouts and longer coats will experience the effects of the heat much quicker, so you’ll really need to keep an eye on them.
While many states have laws on the books against leaving children and pets behind in cars, accidents still happen. Luckily, there are things you can do either as a parent or a bystander to prevent this.
A common technique is the “shoe trick”. Any time you have your child or pet in the car, leave one of your shoes in the backseat with them. This will force you to get into the backseat and remember your little one.
If you see a child or pet locked in a hot car, you should call 911 immediately. The police will either come to the rescue, or they will instruct you on what to do. Some states have “Good Samaritan” laws on the books that will offer protections for anyone who breaks into a car in order to save the life of a child, or pet, in some cases.
No matter how quick of a trip into a store you think you’ll be making, you should never risk the life of your child or pet. Do you have any tips on not forgetting your little ones in the car? Share them with us on Facebook!