Auto Service World
News   June 24, 2003   by Auto Service World

Children and Pets At Risk If Left in Cars During Summer

Motorists are being reminded that hot temperatures can be deadly for children and pets left unattended in cars.
“Never leave your child in an unattended car, even with the windows open,” said Dean Shaddock, coordinator of Toronto EMS’s Community Medicine response teams. “Even the time it takes to run a short errand could put your children – or pets – at risk.”
Young children, especially infants, are much more sensitive to heat than adults are. Kids have a smaller body surface area, so they cannot regulate their body temperatures as quickly as adults can. Rising temperatures inside a car can produce significant heat stress on children causing severe dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke that may result in serious illness or death.
On a typical sunny day in Canada, the temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50 degrees C (122 degrees F) in just 10-20 minutes. In less than 40 minutes, this high temperature could kill a child.
“Extremely high temperatures, such as the ones we’re experiencing during this week’s Heat Alert, are even more dangerous,” added Shaddock. “Opening the window slightly does not keep the temperature at a safe level.”
When entering your vehicle on hot days, make sure you check the temperature of your child’s safety seat surface and safety belt buckles before restraining children in the car. Skin that touches car seat surfaces that are over 66 degrees C (150 degrees F) can be severely burned in one second.
Parents and caregivers should teach children not to play in, on or around cars. Car doors and trunks should always be locked when parked in the driveway or near the home and car keys should be kept out of reach and sight. When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks right away. If your child gets locked inside a car, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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