With the warm weather here in the Valley, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is urging people to be careful not to leave children and pets in vehicles.

The office said outdoor temperatures do not need to be extreme for someone to die as a result of heatstroke. Children have died from heatstroke in cars when outside temperatures were as low as 60 degrees. The inside of vehicles becomes hot quickly and even with the windows cracked the temperature inside a car can hit 125 degrees in just minutes. The attorney’s office also said 80 percent of the temperature increase takes place in the first 10 minutes. Heatstroke starts when the core body temperature hits about 104 degrees and a core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said more than half of all deadly vehicular heatstroke cases involve a parent or caregiver who forgot a child was with them in the vehicle. It recommends people pay attention and take the extra steps to never leave a child or pet in a hot car.

County Attorney Allister Adel recommends residents set reminders on their cell phone and vehicle to inform them that a child is traveling with them. Adel also suggests people let their caregiver know to call them if their child does not arrive at a location by a specific time. Another tip is to put personal items in the back seat to ensure you will check it before locking the vehicle.

Like children, pets also cannot cool themselves quickly enough to keep up with the escalating temperatures inside vehicles. Adel recommends leaving your pet at home if you can’t bring the animal inside with you wherever you are going. If you see a child or pet in a parked vehicle, call 9-1-1 and follow the directions to remove them safely.

To learn more, visit www.maricopacountyattorney.org/399/Vehicular-Heatstroke.



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