Have you ever locked your keys in the car? You must use extreme caution when traveling with your children or pets in the car. From car seats to safety harnesses and seat belts, you must be aware of safety whenever you travel in your vehicle. Leaving your pet or child in your car unattended is a terrible, and possibly fatal, occurrence. Even in cooler conditions, children or pets are not safe. If you leave your child or your pet in the car or if they get locked in accidentally, it can lead to severe consequences and death. You should know who to call when you are locked out of the car with kids or pets inside.
How dangerous is it for children and pets inside cars? Many are surprised to discover the dire consequences of kids and pets getting locked in the car. You should always educate yourself on how to unlock the door.
Children have died in cars with an outside temperature as low as 63 degrees. The inside of the car becomes like a greenhouse. Children can't produce as much sweat the way adults can, so they develop heatstroke much faster. If the temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and it's sunny out, inside your vehicle it will be 104 degrees after 30 minutes and 113 degrees after 60 minutes. If the temperature is between 80 and 100 degrees and the car is in direct sunlight, the internal temperature of your passenger compartment can quickly skyrocket to between 130 and 172 degrees. It doesn't matter if the windows are partially open. The car's interior temperature can still rise about 40 degrees within an hour.
Heatstroke can occur quickly for pets. Dogs and cats aren't able to sweat as humans can. They pant to lower their body temperature as they exhale hot air and inhale cooler air. Inside a car, panting does no good because they are essentially recycling hot air. Coma, permanent brain damage, organ dysfunction, and death can happen to dogs whose normal body temperature rises even a few degrees.
Of course, the best way to deal with locking or leaving a child or pet in the car is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Don't leave your child unattended in the car to begin with under any circumstances. A pet may be able to handle this better, but a child shouldn't be left alone. A pet really shouldn't be either, if you can help it. Do not leave pets in the car if the temperature could cause them harm. If your child is old enough to be left in the car alone, then he or she is old enough to unlock the car from the inside. Parents of young children may wish that they could just run somewhere, but you can't leave a baby alone in the car.
If a child does get locked inside of a car, try to calm your youngster. Talk to him or her through the window and assess the mood of your child. Then, calmly look for your keys. It is difficult to lock keys in cars with the way manufacturers design cars now, but it could happen. You may simply have lost your keys. If you can't find your keys, call a locksmith no matter the cost, if your child appears to be calm and in no immediate danger. If your child isn’t calm, call 911 and cover the windows to keep the car from heating up further. If your child starts to get anxious or hot and begins to panic, don't wait for the locksmith. Break the window furthest from your child as a last resort. If your youngster starts to get hysterical, you need to get in the car right away.
It can be extremely stressful to observe the children or pets of someone else getting locked in the car. What can you do if someone has locked their keys in the car?
For a child, call for help immediately and have someone look for the parents. If you can't find the parents, call 911 to report the incident. Try to calm the child and break the glass if the police advise you to. For a pet, gather information about the car and the license plate number. Next, notify other people in the nearest building. Have them page the owner of the car. Go back out and wait by the car to monitor the pet. If the owner doesn't do anything or doesn't appear, call animal control. Time is of the essence, so if animal control is unable to come immediately, call 911. You don't want to leave the animal in danger longer than necessary.
When it comes to your car and your family, whether it be a child or a pet, you need to be responsible. Don't assume that your quick trip to the grocery store can be done without consequences. Things can happen so quickly and you don't want to endanger your child or pet. Be aware of your surroundings. Take note if there is a child or pet in a car unattended. You could save a life by simply paying attention and taking action to find the owner of the vehicle.
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