Summer isn’t over yet, and temperatures are still soaring across the country. Sadly, many people and animals die each year as a result of undergoing heatstroke while in a car. Luckily, there are proactive steps everyone can take to avoid this tragedy. This guide will explore some things you can do to ensure that no one has to deal with this horrible experience.
Pay Attention Before You Lock Up Your Car
Even if you don’t always bring your kids with you everywhere you go, make it a habit to look inside your vehicle before you lock the doors. Check from the front to the back of the car, and you should also look under the seats. A good way to remember to check your car is to place your wallet or phone underneath the back seat or in the passenger floorboard. This is a good way to prompt you to check the back of your car every single time to get out.
Never Leave Someone Unattended in a Hot Vehicle
This should go without saying, but you should never, ever leave children or pets inside of a hot car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You might think that slightly lowering the windows will help, but in extreme summer temperatures, this does very little to prevent heatstroke. If you have a dog with you, let them out of the car and tie their leash to something nearby, or ask your passenger to stay put while you run your errands. Some states allow passersby to break your window if they see a child or pet in a hot car.
Teach Kids Good Safety Rules
Little ones might be tempted to hide in your car when you’re not around. Always make sure you lock your car and keep the keys out of sight and reach of small children. Educate your kids about the dangers of playing in and around cars. Let them know they should never approach a car unless they are under adult supervision. This includes locking your trunk. There have been cases where children hide in a vehicle trunk and accidentally lock themselves inside, resulting in tragic consequences.
Be a Good Citizen
If you walk by a car and notice anyone inside with the windows up and no driver, contact the police immediately. Depending on the state, the driver could be charged with neglect or other crimes. This goes for dogs and cats, too. No animal should ever be left in a hot car as they could die very easily within minutes. Contact EMS so they can send medical assistance = if anyone is in the car. If the child or animal appears to be in visible distress or be suffering from heatstroke, go ahead and brake the window if you can to let them out and give them cold water until help arrives.