Interior Car Safety in Hot Weather: Keep Children and Pets Safe!

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: July 11, 2014

As we are in the middle of the hottest month in some of the hottest cities in the U.S., it’s important to remember how dangerous our high temperatures can be. We all know to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and limit outdoor time, but are you aware of the hazards of automobile temperatures?

According to The Weather Channel, a car interior can reach 109 degrees just after sitting for 10 minutes on a sunny 90 degree day. Add 10 more minutes to your car’s sitting time, and you add ten more degrees. Think about those longer shopping days, when your car may sit in the parking lot for an hour. On a 90 degree day, the interior of your car can reach 133 degrees in one hour!

In the desert heat, where we are often in temperatures over 100 degrees, car interiors can reach up to a staggering 200 degrees in the sun.

This being said, the interior of your parked vehicle is obviously not a great place for any living thing, especially children and pets. Children and pets should never be left alone in a parked vehicle during hot temperatures. While this is the number one rule of car interior heat safety, here are some other helpful tips to ensure your loved ones don’t feel the extreme heat in parked cars:

  • Keep your car locked and keys away from children – even if you don’t leave your kids in the car, they may go in themselves or worse yet, lock themselves in.
  • Talk to your children about playing in the car – don’t ever let them play in a car unsupervised.
  • Cracking or rolling down the windows does NOT make it acceptable – when it’s hot outside, the car will still stay hot.
  • Get your kids and pets out of the vehicle BEFORE unloading groceries – remember how quickly your vehicle can heat up and just don’t risk it.

When children and pets are left in hot vehicles, they are at risk for heatstroke or even worse, death. If you see a child or pet in a closed car (even with windows rolled down or cracked) without an adult, dial 911 immediately. Remember, even if children or pets are left in the car for just a little while, your vehicle will still heat up very quickly!

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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