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Summer heat can be deadly for kids, pets left in cars

There are reportedly severe injuries and deaths to children and pets reported to law enforcement each year.
There are reportedly severe injuries and deaths to children and pets reported to law enforcement each year.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 12:16 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Police officials have urged parents and pet owners to be cognizant of the summer heat and how it can be detrimental to children and pets left in vehicles.

Just a few minutes in a car can be deadly, while the inside of a car can reach well over 100 degrees in just 10 minutes when 90 degrees outdoors. Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley warned that a vehicle acts like a greenhouse, stating that the sun’s heat gets trapped inside and continues to build.

A car's heat can be deadly in just minutes for children and pets.
A car's heat can be deadly in just minutes for children and pets.(WVLT)

In Tennessee, a person can legally break a window if they see a child or pet in distress locked inside, the Sevierville Police Department shared. However, those who attempt this need to call 911 to inform authorities about the incident.

“Steps must be taken to ensure the car is locked, that the child or animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed and notifying law enforcement,” an SPD spokesperson said.

There are reportedly severe injuries and deaths to children and pets reported to law enforcement each year, according to a release. Officials said that approximately 38 children die each year from heat-related injuries while trapped inside vehicles.

“Children should NEVER be left alone in an unattended vehicle for any length of time,” police officials shared.

While ensuring that no kids or pets are left inside a vehicle, it’s important to note that various surfaces can burn animals’ paws in extreme heat. Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley warned that surfaces absorb heat differently, so a dog’s paws could be burned by concrete or asphalt on a hot, sunny day.

At 90 degrees, asphalt could reach 140 degrees, which could burn paws in just a minute. Concrete would reach about 125 degrees at the same temperate, which could cause paw burns in approximately five minutes.

Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley warns
Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley warns(WVLT)

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