Leaving Kids & Pets in a Hot Car

kids in hot carMedical professionals are warning the public about the dangers of leaving your loved ones and four-legged friends unattended in your vehicles.

“It’s just dangerous, it really is,” says Carmelita Sanchez, mother of one. “When I’m driving, I’m like ‘don’t leave your kid in the car, don’t leave your kid in the car’.”

Sanchez is a mom on the run, and says she has a heightened awareness of her baby girl with temperatures on the rise.

“It’s plain and simple, if you would be in the car sitting in there and it’s really hot outside, what would you think a little kid would be?”

Statistics show kids are being left behind, with 44 deaths last year and already eight deaths in 2014.

“It really does happen more than people think it happens, because the reality is that most parents think ‘oh, I can just run into the store for a few minutes and I’ll run back out,” says John McConkey, an EMT with Comanche County Memorial Ambulance.

In his 24 years in the medical field, he says he has dealt with many cases of heat-related illness. A recent study shows the temperature inside your car goes up nearly 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.

“If it sits there with the windows up, it is dangerous because it’s an oven.”

The same message can be echoed for pets: “After five minutes you’re in the danger zone with that animal,” says veterinarian Dr. Larry Chambers. “Pets and cars is never a good mix.”

The lack of water and shade, he says, can quickly escalate to exhaustion. For children, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. That is an emergency many feel is a parent’s responsibility to prevent from happening.

“Make sure you get all your kids out of the car; make sure your kids are out of the car,” says Adriel Mays, mother of four.

“I think it’s their utmost responsibility to do that with kids,” says Sanchez.

Parents are reminded to leave their cars empty and their hands full, and everyone is asked to stay on the lookout for a potentially dangerous situation in the hot temperatures.

For me, I always think it is a good idea to put SOMETHING you have to have in the backseat so you don’t forget to turn around. We lead hectic lives these days, and it is one of those things where every parent who kills a child accidentally doesn’t think it will happen to them.

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