Dangers of leaving little ones and pets in hot vehicles

Published 06/30 2014 11:40AM

Updated 06/30 2014 04:33PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good 4 Utah) - With temperatures on the rise and triple digits expected as we approach 4th of July weekend, it’s a reminder to parents to not leave your children in hot vehicles.

“You have to take care of them, because especially if they get hot their not going to cry their going to go into a mode where they pass out and their not going to be able to tell you anything,” said Lori Van Rum a new mom to a 6 month old baby boy.

Pet owner Kristy Jones also doesn't mess around with the danger that can sometimes be deadly. “It doesn't take very long at all before their in distress and after that dead. So, I would never take the chance,” said Jones.

Salt Lake City Fire Community Health Captain Jeff Kauffmann says on average they respond to about five calls each summer with children locked inside vehicles, but last year they had seven. “There's usually one high profile a year here in the valley,” said Captain Kauffman.

Nationally, the numbers are above average. “In 2013, 44 children died in locked heated unattended vehicles and the average is 38,” said Captain Kauffman.

Captain Kauffman says pets are no different and it's all too common to see our four legged friends, especially dogs, trapped inside hot vehicles. “Even just unrolling the window is not adequate ventilation or cooling for the animal,” said Captain Kauffman.

Salt Lake Fire says if you see either an animal or a child in a locked unattended vehicle you need to call 911, because timing is critical. “It gets very hot very fast. A 78 degree vehicle will climb to 100 degrees in three minutes. It will go from a 120 to 140 in 10 minutes,” said Captain Kauffman.

Salt Lake City Fire also recommends putting a towel or blanket over any areas inside your vehicle, like medal seat belts or leather seats, because at 120 degree temperatures it only takes a second for a severe burn. 

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