AAA: Parents, pet owners should take heat precautions


AAA Texas reminds drivers about the consequences of leaving people or pets in hot vehicles as the intense heat of summer is forecasted to get even worse in the coming days.

Research shows temperatures inside a car, even on a mild, sunny day, can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes. Children are particularly susceptible to heatstroke because their bodies can heat up five times faster than adults.

Animals are equally impacted by summer heat. Dogs are not able to sweat like humans do, but instead cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws.

If they have only overheated air to breathe, they can collapse, suffer brain damage and die of heatstroke.

AAA Safety Recommendations

While you can’t control the heat, you do have some power to help protect you, your family, and your vehicle.

AAA Texas recommends taking the following precautions:

• Never leave children or animals unattended in a car, not even for a short period of time. Outside air temperatures in the nineties can rise to 125 degrees inside the vehicle very quickly and can cause brain damage or death.

• Create reminders and habits that give you and caregivers a safety net. Leave an item needed at your next stop in the back seat so you don’t forget about your loved one.

• Take action if you see an unattended child or pet in a vehicle. Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.

• Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.

• Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway.

• Never leave keys and/or remote openers within reach of children.

• When parked, use a sun shield to cover the windshield to minimize heat buildup and to help protect the car’s interior. Cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns.

• Open the vehicle’s doors and let the interior cool for a few minutes before entering.

• Remember to remove electronics such as cell phones, iPads, etc. from your vehicle, as the high heat can drain the batteries and possibly damage internal components.

Know Before You Go

AAA Texas recommends considering these points before you go:

• Check the CDC’s Covid-19 data tracker, municipal and state health departments and local news for updates on coronavirus cases and continue to do so while on the road.

• Visit AAA’s Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Map at TripTik.AAA. com for the latest state and local travel restrictions.

• Pack face coverings, gloves and cleaning supplies — like disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer — and a thermometer.

• Take all necessary travel documentation, including health insurance cards.