The summer months mean hot, humid days. While you may have air conditioning in your car, the instant you turn the engine off, it heats up quickly. Roadway Insurance, a MAIF insurance provider, discusses safety tips to keep in mind as the temperatures go up this summer.
It Gets Hot Faster Than You Think
If your car is out in the hot sun, the temperature inside it can go up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Even if you keep a window cracked, particularly when there’s no wind, it doesn’t do much to mitigate the heat. Keeping a child or pet in the car while you run into the store for just one item can still be dangerous for them. What seems like a short time to you feels like much longer in a hot car.
Hot Temperatures are Felt Differently
Children and dogs both feel hot temperatures differently than adults do. A dog’s body is designed to conserve heat, and they only sweat through their nose and the pads on their paws. Panting can help cool them down as well, but if they’re just breathing in hot air, it’s not going to help them. In a short period of time, they can get heatstroke and suffer from brain and other organ damage.
As for children, they heat up much faster than adults — up to 3-5 times faster. Their smaller bodies don’t have as many sweat glands to cool them down. Their body temperature will heat up quicker. Once the body temperature hits 107 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be lethal.
Teach Children Preventative Measures
Make sure your child knows the dangers of a hot car. Never leave the keys in their reach in case they lock themselves in. If they do get locked in, teach them to honk the horn or do something to get attention of people outside. It’s important that they know it’s not a game to lock you out and laugh in the car by themselves. It’s much better to have a broken car window than to lose your child to the heat of a car.
Keep an Important Item in Your Backseat
You may think that there’s no way you’d ever forget your child in the car. But if they’re sleeping or silent throughout your whole drive, it’s easy to run on autopilot and go about your business. That’s why you should always put something in the backseat that you know you can’t go into a store or other place without. This can be your cell phone, wallet, or purse. Just make sure it’s something that you know will make you search until you find it.
Have Emergency Roadside Assistance
One of the things you can do to ensure safety is to have emergency roadside assistance in case something happens. If you’re locked out of your car, you can call someone for help to get back in and get your child or pet that’s stuck in there. This is good to have as a last resort.