Fire Department

Posted on: June 12, 2017

Don't Trap Kids, Pets inside a Hot Car

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Heatstroke can be deadly to kids and pets - and happens much faster than most people realize. In just ten minutes, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees or more. 

More than half of the hot car-related deaths in the last 20 years were due to children being mistakenly left in hot vehicles, according to a study of media reports by San Jose State University. Frequently, parents or caregivers experienced a sudden change in routine or other unusual circumstances prior to the tragedy.

With this in mind, Allen Fire Department asks parents, caregivers and pet owners to review the following safety tips to help prevent tragedies as temperatures rise.

  • Look before you lock. Get into the routine of always checking the back seat of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away.
  • Give yourself a reminder. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it is empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Alternatively, place your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
  • Do a routine check. If someone else is driving your child, or you alter your daily routine, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.
  • Keep keys out of reach. You know to keep your vehicle locked, but also keep your keys out of reach; nearly 3 in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.

If you see kids in a car without a parent or caregiver nearby, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you are concerned about a pet inside a vehicle, call non-emergency dispatch at 214.509.4321.

Browse more life safety tips from Allen Fire Department.

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