Hot car? Please remember

Published 4:39 pm Thursday, June 11, 2020

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A hot summer day can lead to tragedy in an instant.
With temperatures on the rise, awareness is being strongly advised to those who may make one simple mistake of leaving children or pets unattended in a hot car. This one mistake often proving to be deadly.
“There are no evil people who wish to cook their children or pets in hot automobiles,” said Dr. Arnold Hopland, founder of Medical Care. “There are simply people who make small errors or lapses in judgement for just a moment and have tragedy occur because they don’t realize the danger.”
Hopland warned that temperatures in cars can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes.
“It can kill a child in 10 minutes, an infant can’t handle excess heat, and it can kill a pet in not a lot more time,” he said. “The problem with pets is they will lay down on the floor and you might not see them.”
He also warned that this applies to young children as well, not just infants, as they may accidentally lock the car or turn off the air conditioning.
On how temperatures inside the car compare to outside, Hopland said it is great.
“It can go to 140 to 160 degrees in 10 to 20 minutes,” he warned.
Hopland provided some suggestions on how to make sure a lapse in judgement does not occur. He said that mothers should put purses in the backseat near a child, or check vehicles for pets who may subtly climb in without an owner’s knowledge.
For those who may see a child or pet in a locked car, Hopland suggested calling 911 or smashing a window, stressing the second option. He pointed out that minutes waiting for help can honestly be life and death for that child or animal inside the vehicle.
Like children who cannot handle heat, animals may have internal damage if they do not succumb to the heat as well.
While you may intend to leave the child or pet for just a second to go inside somewhere, anything could happen to make such a trip longer. Likewise, leaving the windows down brings in more dangers of aspects like abductions. In general, it is never a good idea to leave an animal or child inside of a car unattended.
The Carter County Sheriff’s Department provided the following statement to further add to potential risks to those who do.
“The Sheriff’s Office strongly warns everyone against leaving children or animals in hot cars, especially during the summer months or with the windows rolled up. Exposure to that kind of heat can result in serious illness or even death. Such actions can result in charges of child endangerment, child neglect, or animal cruelty.”
Please remember to check before you exit your vehicle to prevent a tragedy.

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