DID YOU KNOW? Temperature spikes in a matter of minutes
Parked cars get hot, but what you might not realize is that a car’s interior temperature can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Leaving the windows cracked or rolled down does not slow heat acceleration, nor does it cool the interior, especially on wind-free days.
Never leave a child or a pet closed up in a parked car on a sunny day, even just for a minute!
Children and pets feel hot temperatures differently
A child’s body can heat three to five times more quickly than that of an adult. Children also possess fewer sweat glands than adults and can’t adapt quickly to an increase of temperature. A body temperature of 107 degrees is lethal.
Your dog does not feel the heat as you do. His body is designed to conserve heat. A dog’s sweat glands are located on the pads of his feet and nose, and they are inadequate for cooling your dog’s total body mass on hot days.
The only innate cooling mechanism your dog has is
panting. If a dog breathes in hot air, especially if he is
panting, it doesn’t take long for brain and organ damage to occur due to heat stroke.
What can you do to mitigate these risks?
- Put something you’ll need in the back seat with children
Sadly, parents often forget children are in the back seat of a vehicle. After loading your family into the car, place an object you’ll need on arrival in the back — perhaps your wallet, purse, or cell phone. Even on autopilot, a thorough car check after parking is guaranteed with this method.
If you have an infant, you know that rear-facing car seats can be tricky to monitor, especially if the child is sleeping. Try using a stuffed animal as a placeholder. When you secure your baby in the seat, bring the stuffed animal with you up front as a reminder.
- Keep the cool air running
When running errands on hot days, consider using the drive-through for services such as banking and pharmacy pick-up. It might also be helpful to rearrange your schedule so you aren’t out during the hottest part of the day. Buddy up, if possible so one adult is always available to watch pets and children in your car while the air conditioner runs.