Safety measures from first responders to prevent leaving child or pets in hot car

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - With the hottest months of the year upon us, first responders are reminding people to double-check their back seats before leaving their cars unattended.

According to the group Kids and Car Safety, there have been at least eight heat-related car deaths this year. On average there are 38.

Harrisonburg Fire Department said even on what seems like the most beautiful days cars can get hotter than the temperature outside.

”What people fail to realize, I think, is on a day that seems to be like the most beautiful day ever, temperatures can rise very quickly. So on your typical 70-degree day in 10 minutes, the inside of a car can go up to 90 degrees,” Lt. Erin Stehle of the Harrisonburg Fire Department said.

HFD said people are constantly on the go and it’s easy to be forgetful.

“It is so easy for all of us that are going constantly throughout the day to make a mistake,” Lt. Stehle said. “Things happen, routines change.”

However, HFD says there are some preventative measures you can take to keep your child and pets safe.

”What we tell people is set reminders. Most people at this point have a type of smartphone, set reminders on your phone,” Lt. Stehle said.

On top of reminders, you can place things that you always take with you in the backseat.

“Put things in the back that you always go into work with or always go into the gym with,” Lt. Stehle said. “If that’s your phone if it’s a coffee cup if it’s a purse, a duffle bag, whatever it is make sure that you have that in the backseat that serves as a reminder that your child is always back there.”

HFD says most cases happen when an infant is sleeping.

“If a kid falls asleep you’re not gonna know that they’re back there,” Lt. Stehle said. “The same thing with pets, even if people crack the windows, that is still not enough.”

HFD says if you notice a child or pet unattended call 911 immediately because they have the best equipment and tools to help the situation.

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