Hot Cars Kill: Tips for Summer Safety of Kids and Pets

Oct 28, 2016

People are most protective of two things in their lives—their children and their pets. With the hot weather in our state, it is a good time to remember that heat can kill a child or pet in very short order.

Unfortunately, news stories are all too common about a child somewhere who was left in a car and died of heat stroke. According to, heatstroke is among the leading causes of death among children. When we read news reports of these deaths, we wonder how that could happen.

Sometimes, when parents or caregivers are transporting a child at unusual times, they forget that the child is in the car. Kids have a tendency to fall asleep while riding in cars, and that increases the chances a parent will forget.

Even when people are well aware of the child’s presence, they fail to realize how quickly the temperature can rise in a car, even if it has the windows partially open. Forgetfulness can also play a role here. People sometimes leave the sleeping child to just run in for a minute, but once inside, they get caught up in what they are doing and forget. Meanwhile, in a short 10 minutes, the temperature in the car can rise 20 degrees. On a mild 60 degree day, a car’s interior temperature can reach 110 degrees. A child will die with a body temperature of 107 degrees.

Safer car recommends that those who transport children always “look before you lock.” Make it a habit to check your back seat before leaving your car. Another trick is to keep a stuffed animal or toy in your child’s car seat. When the child is in the seat, place the item in the front seat as a reminder that the child is with you.

Bystanders can play a big role in preventing the death of children in hot cars. An unattended child is a concern regardless of weather, but when it’s hot, time is of the essence. You should not wait long before taking action. Call 911 and get the child out of the car if possible. Under extreme circumstances, breaking a window may be warranted.

An unattended pet is generally not a concern for bystanders under normal weather conditions.  In cases of extreme heat, however, the intervention of a bystander might be necessary. If windows are completely shut, the outside temperature is high, or the animal appears to be in distress, you should try to find the owner. If the situation is critical, call 911. Before attempting to remove the pet from the car yourself, remember that animals can become defensive, especially if distressed. The best approach is to locate the car owner or call 911.

Tragic accidents cause needless suffering and harm. If you or a loved one have been injured, you may be entitled to money damages. The attorneys at Wright Pichon & Gray know that accidents cause can completely change your life. We will help you get back on track. Contact us today for a free case review\.

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