It can only take a few minutes for heat to become deadly. Through summer months, especially here in the south, heat-related incidents can happen in just a few moments of carelessness. Below, explore our guide to avoiding the dangerous conditions that can lead to hospitalization or even death.
Rumor: Cracking The Window Can Help
Fact: Even with the circulation inside a vehicle offered by cracking a window, high temperatures can still lead to deadly conditions. Summer heat, when combined with a high heat index, is what makes conditions dangerous. According to Injury Facts and NoHeatStroke.org, 884 children have died from vehicular heatstroke in the past 25 years. Two of them are from 2021.
Cracking the window isn’t enough. Even if it’s just for a quick errand, and even when it’s inconvenient with small children with strollers, diaper bags, and booster seats, the safest option is to NEVER leave children in the car.
What About Pets?
Furry friends deserve the safest treatment possible, too. Annually, an average of 80 pets die from heatstroke in cars. Dogs with smaller skulls, like pugs and bulldogs, are especially susceptible to this kind of danger due to their shortened airways. However, hot cars pose a risk for all dogs regardless of size.
Know the signs before it’s too late: your dog will express that it’s hot with rapid breathing and panting, decreased energy, and an increased heart-rate. Often, dog’s gums also turn an especially bright pink.
Dogs should never be left in the car, and especially not during the summer, but if you notice any of these signs in your pet, seek emergency veterinary assistance immediately.
Set Rules For Children
Many of these accidents and deaths were not due to negligence. In many cases, curious children found their way into parked vehicles or played around and ended up trapped in an overheating vehicle.
Set ground rules by emphasizing that cars are not a place to play, especially not in summer heat. Shockingly, children finding their way into cars and accidentally getting trapped accounts for almost 30% of these annual vehicular heatstroke deaths.
Ultimately, remembering that it’s always better to be safe than sorry can eliminate the chance of a fatal accident. As always, if you need legal assistance, you have a partner in Bart Durham Injury Law, 24/7.
RELATED READING: High Temps Increase Dangers of Leaving Kids and Pets in Parked Cars