Car temperatures become deadly for kids & pets faster than you think

Police and veterinarian warn that heat stroke strikes fast

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Leaving your child in a hot car. Every parent’s worst nightmare and something most all would say they’d never do.

52 children across America died from hot cars in 2019, and two of those kids were from Kentucky, according to the National Safety Council.

As summer season gets closer and temperatures rise, heat stroke is a danger for kids and pets.

Kentucky State Police Post 3 Trooper Daniel Priddy said, “Nobody thinks it would happen to them, but it happens, it happens too often.”

Priddy says even if it sounds unnecessary, keep a purse or wallet in the back so you form a habit of looking back every time you leave the car.   

And if you can’t find your child in this summer heat, “Look for the cars first because they’re one of the most dangerous places in hot temperatures for a child to be,” said Priddy.

He also says you should lock your car doors at home in this summer heat.

“We have had incidents in the past where kids have been playing in cars and they’ve locked themselves in them. 

Sadly, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion each year in hot cars, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“It’s alright to travel around with your pets and take them in the car, and they generally love that. But these days it’s getting a little too hot to leave them there.

All Creatures Animal Hospital Veterinarian Vicky McGrath says that within half an hour, pets can go from being perfectly healthy to heat stressed, especially when they already have underlying health conditions. 

“If you’re going somewhere where they’re going to be in the car with them or you’re going to be out walking around with them that’s great, but If you’re going to be at the store running errands, that might not be the best time to take your pets with you.”

McGraths says dogs body temperatures range around 101 degrees. That temperature can quickly spike to 130 degrees in less than 45 minutes.

As we head into the summer, enjoy the sun, stay safe and stay alert.