Thursday, April 29, 2021 (Phoenix, AZ) – With temperatures rising in the Valley, families and caregivers need to take extra safety precautions to prevent leaving children and pets in cars. Outdoor temperatures do not need to be extreme for an extreme tragedy to occur.
Children have died from heatstroke in cars when outside temperatures were as low as 60 degrees. The inside of a vehicle heats up quickly. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes and 80% of the increase happens in the first 10 minutes. Cracking the windows does not help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees. A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.
More than half of all fatal vehicular heatstroke cases involve a parent or caregiver who forgot a child was with them in their vehicle. Individuals must pay attention and take the extra steps to make sure we never leave a child or pet in a hot car.
“These tragedies are completely preventable,” stated County Attorney Adel. “Simple steps can help families avoid this devastating event. I encourage all residents to: ACT - Avoid Heatstroke, Create Reminders, Take Action.”
- Set reminders on your cell phone and car to let you know that a child is traveling with you.
- Let your caregiver know to call you if your child doesn’t arrive by a specific time.
- Put your wallet, purse, laptop, or left shoe in the back seat to make sure you check it before you lock your car.
- Similar to children, pets cannot cool themselves quickly enough to keep up with temperatures inside a vehicle. If you can’t bring your pet with you, they should stay at home.
- If you see a child or pet in a parked vehicle, call 911 and follow their instructions to get them out safely.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office encourages everyone to incorporate these safety habits into their daily routine year-round to help protect children and pets from vehicular heatstroke. For more information visit, MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/Vehicular-Heatstroke