Doctors warn against leaving children, pets in car - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Doctors warn against leaving children, pets in car

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Every summer heartbreaking and preventable deaths happen when children are left alone in hot cars.

Doctors say it doesn't take long for the inside of your car to exceed the temperature outside.

Let's say it's 90 degrees outside. In five minutes it will be 95 degrees inside your car, then 100 degrees in 10 minutes and so on.

So someone leaving a child in a car while they're grocery shopping or making what they think will be a quick stop could become a hot and deadly situation.

Experts say you have to use common sense and not leave your child or animal unattended for any period of time in a vehicle.

"That's unthinkable for me to leave my kids in the car like that. I can't afford to lose none of my kids," said Montgomery resident Terry Hayes.

But still, some parents do. Doctors say it could be deadly.

Dr. Chris Waguespack with the Jackson Clinic on Chantilly Parkway says children, animals, and the elderly are more prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"Heat stroke can affect so many parts of the body, internally and externally. What you're looking for are things like really dry skin actually, you are not going to be sweating a lot. Your lips will be dry; again, they won't be sweating. Mental status changes," Waguespack said.

The first thing you want to do if you see this happening is get them into a cool place. You can put ice under their arms, on their chest or on their forehead, Waguespack said.

And if you think it's safe to roll down your window and leave your child in the car, think again. Consistent air is still not circulating in the car and you are also putting your child at risk to be abducted.

It's not worth the risk or the charge that parents can face if their child is injured because they left them in a hot car.

If a child is left in hot car, but not seriously injured, those involved can face a charge of contributing to the dependency of a minor.

If a child is killed, suspects face criminally negligent homicide.

Those leaving animals in hot cars that are injured face cruelty to animals charges.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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