VEHICLE SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN AND PETS NO MATTER THE DISTANCE YOU TRAVEL
May 4, 2015(Chandler,AZ) The rising temperatures add a sense of urgency to get our vehicles checked for safe travel no matter the distance. The most important message is to never leave your child or pet in a closed car when it is hot outside. Heat stroke sets in quickly and every year children and pets die. Every year, a Valley media outlet reports a child or a dog left in a hot car has died or is in critical condition. Desert Car Care of Chandler is giving out a free public education awareness tool, the Life-Meter™, which shows how fast the inside temperature can change and how dangerous it is to leave children or pets alone. IMPORTANT: This is a public education awareness tool only. Stop by to pick one up at 95 N. Dobson Road, Chandler or go to www.desertcarcare.com.
A child’s body temperature climbs three to five times faster than an adult’s, especially in a hot car. In less than 30 minutes, the temperature inside a car can increase 35 degrees. This causes hyperthermia, in its advanced state referred to as heat stroke sending thousands of children every year to emergency rooms. Pets are equally prone to suffering heatstroke and high temperatures inside a vehicle can cause your pet to suffer irreversible damage to their brain and kidneys and or lead to death.
Psychologists say that people can be carrying out a routine task on autopilot while focusing on other things and just forget that their children are in the back seat of the vehicle. Additionally, if someone else takes over your routine pattern, the risks are greater for something to go wrong.
Reminders to be placed somewhere to break routine patterns:
· Place a collar or leash on the rearview mirror.
· Put a diaper, toy or treat on the dashboard.
· Put your purse or billfold in the back seat.
Tips to keep children and pets safe:
1. Leaving your child or pet in a car with the air conditioning running can be dangerous. The air conditioning compressor can shut down if the engine gets too hot and then it will blast hot air into the car.
2. Key areas of vehicle to have checked. The heat is hard on rubber and batteries. Have your tires, rubber hoses, wiper blades, fluids and battery checked monthly.
3. What to do if my vehicle breaks down? Items to have on hand are plenty of water, a cooler with ice, ice packs, sun screen, cool loose clothing, towels, blankets in case you have to sit on asphalt, umbrellas for shade and a small car battery-powered fan, collapsible drinking cup, and jumper cables. To prevent heat stroke: For children, a damp cool rag applied to the back of the neck and aim the fan at them to cool. For pets, offer water to drink, then gently spray or apply cool, tepid water to the overheated dog. You can also apply wet, cool towels along the dog’s chest, abdomen, between its legs and around the neck. Do NOT use ice water, ice baths or apply ice to an overheated dog. Aim the fan to accelerate the cooling process.
4. Seat belts and harness. Have them checked to make sure they are working properly. Children five to eight years old or less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, should be riding in belt-positioning booster seats in the back seat. Keep animals secured inside a ventilated animal crate or in a pet-safety harness. A safety harness connected to the seat belt, with a safety tether, allows them to lie down, sit up, or stand, but remain safely restrained.
5. Let your vehicle cool down. Before loading the kids and pets in the car, turn on the air and let the vehicle cool down so that the seatbelts, leather upholstery are ok to touch.
6. Hot asphalt. Shoes stay on! Children can kick off their shoes and be in a hurry to get outside and forget how hot the ground is. Veterinarians see too many dogs with burnt paw pads. There are extreme all weather boots available at your local pet store to keep their pads safe.
7. Install a side window shade. To help keep it cooler and protecting the eyes while allowing your child or pet to see outside.
8. Lock car doors. According to a National SAFE KIDS Campaign survey, only half of all parents lock their cars when they park at home. Children like to play and an unlocked car can look like fun, yet it can be deadly. Once in the car, children can become confused by the door handle’s shape and be unable to open the door from the inside and they may accidentally lock the doors by leaning on a power control device and then be unable to get out.
9. First aid kit – sunscreen, bandages in different sizes, Benadryl, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, sterile saline (contact lens solution), roll gauze and gauze sponges, tweezers, multi-tool with scissors and adhesive tape.
10. Emergency numbers of police, highway patrol and your mechanic are good emergency numbers to have in your cell phone and written down in the owner’s manual of your vehicle in case your cell phone battery runs down.