Dangers for kids and pets left in hot cars

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Updated Thursday, May 2 at 4:07 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- Valley temperatures are rising and a long, hot summer looms ahead.

On Tuesday's Good Morning Arizona, Ryan O'Donnell talked with the folks from Rural Metro about the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot cars.

On Monday alone, Rural Metro and Southwest Ambulance crews had to rescue four kids who were locked in hot cars.

Katy Reeve of Southwest Ambulance says that even a few minutes is too long to leave a child in a  sweltering car. "On a hot day like today or yesterday, it can get up to about 110 degrees pretty quickly," she says. "We did a little test out here, and we hit about 130 degrees in less than 20 minutes."

Of the four hot car calls yesterday, two of them included kids who locked themselves inside the vehicles, and two others involved moms who accidentally locked their kids in cars.

Safety experts say that there are steps parents can take to make sure their child never gets left in the car accidentally, like putting a teddy bear in the front seat as a reminder. There's also an app for your phone that can act as a reminder.

Another idea is to make sure you have a hide-a-key somewhere on the car. "If a child lock locks your keys and kids in the cars, the fire department can't get in to get your child out of the car safely and quickly," says Reeve. "It makes it a little bit easier."

And don't forget about your pets, who can also suffer locked in a hot vehicle. Simply cracking a window is not okay. "As bad as it is on children, pets are smaller. It happens even quicker with them," says Reeve. "130 degrees on a 40 pound dog is very bad, very quickly."

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