AAA Warns Drivers Of Heat-Related Emergencies

The auto club says do not leave children, pets, unattended in hot cars.



Towson, Md (KM). Summer can be a fun time for children, but it also holds many dangers. One of them is being left unattended in a hot car, sometimes by adults who forgot they have a kid in the back seat.

Ragina Ali, Manager of Government and Public Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic says even when it’s more than 90-degrees outside, it’s much hotter inside your vehicle. “We’ve also seen incidents where a parent thinks  they can run into a store or a business really quickly and leave their child unattended. And that’s certainly not something we want to see happen,” she says.

AAA says a child’s body heats up three to five times as fast as an adult’s body. In the past three decades, the auto club says 949 children left in hot cars have died of heatstroke, hyperthermia and other complications, and that  includes 14 in Maryland.

Ali says there are ways adults who are traveling with a child in the backseat can be reminded not to forget their precious cargo. “Set an alarm on your phone. Or put something in the backseat that you need when you exit the car. For example, your cell phone, your purse, your wallet, briefcase or something that you definitely have to take out,’ She says.

And if you take your pets for a ride, Ali says remember they too can contract heatstroke if left for long periods in a hot car. “Make no mistake: just because your pet can’t tell you they’re in distress, doesn’t mean they’re not. So please remember not to leave your animals in hot cars,” she says.

The signs of heatstroke in a dog or cat are panting, excessive drooling, vomiting, reddened gums and tongue. rapid heart beat and wobbly, uncoordinated movement.

AAA says if you see a child or a dog locked in a hot car, appearing in distress, call 911 immediately.


By Kevin McManus