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Leaving children and animals in hot cars is dangerous and illegal in many cases.
Vulnerable and dependent on your good will and common sense, children and animals are not only unable to free themselves from hot vehicles, but also heat faster than adults. A child’s body heats up three to five times more rapidly than an adult’s, according to Jan Null, CCM at the Department of Geo-sciences of San Francisco State University. And dogs in cars are also vulnerable because their only methods of cooling themselves are panting and sweating through their paw pads, according to PETA .
PETA explains that cracking the window won’t help relieve an animal from overheating. Fourteen states – including AZ, CA, IL, ME, MD, MN, NV, NH, NJ, NY, ND, SD, VT, and WV – have laws making it illegal to leave an animal in a parked car in any way that would endanger the animal’s well-being.
We don’t need to focus on the details of the laws. It’s just never a good idea to confine a living being in a vehicle, even for a few minutes. Cars heat up faster than most people realize. Jan Null tells us that, whether it’s a warm or cool day, the temperature inside of a closed car goes up 19 degrees within the first 10 minutes, 29 degrees within the first 20 minutes, and a whopping 43 degrees within the first hour.
To avoid endangering children, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s released these tips , among others, on July 31, National Heatstroke Day:
Don’t leave children in a car, ever, even for a minute.
Teach kids that the car is not a playground. This helps keep them from getting into the car without your knowledge.
And most importantly, be aware of your child when changing routines. For example, if your spouse normally drives your child to daycare, and it’s your turn today, make sure to create a trigger to remember that your kid is in the back. Leave your briefcase in the back seat or your cell phone so that you have to reach back to get it before you leave the car.
It’s understandable that with work pressures or a late meeting, a person can be on autopilot and go about their normal routine, so be sure that you prepare your in advance.
If you have any tips for us and other readers, please share. Nothing is too wacky if it helps save a life.