Hot Cars Are No Place For Children Or Pets

Just a couple minutes in a hot car could put your precious cargo in danger.

"If you're leaving the car, the child has to leave the car with you," Dr. David Ford said.

In Dr. David Ford's 21-year career in medicine he's seen his share of kids left in cars.

"Now we see fewer cases, but we still see it sometimes and I think it's because sometimes parents just don't realize how delicate children's physiology is," Ford said.

Any car acts like an insulator and can actually be 20 degrees hotter than what it is outside.

"Even a bit of an elevated temperature for a relatively short period of time can really injure that child's brain, kidneys, heart, and other organ systems in their body," Ford said.

"It's sad, it's so tragic and it's very preventable," Kevin Poore with Safe Kids Midlands said.

But, there's technology out there to help.

"There's sensors in car seats and there's things you can put on car seats that can help you. You shouldn't solely rely on those devices, but they can help you remember," Poore said.

And if it's too hot for your child, it's too hot for your furry friend.

"Their primary mechanism is by panting, which is a pretty inefficient way to cool yourself if you're a dog or a human. But, it doesn't work very well and particularly when they're in cars, you can run into problems," Dr. William Otis said.

Otis says he's gotten one dog in his clinic for heat stroke already.

In the South Carolina heat, dogs and cars just don't mix.

"The best policy when you're dealing with your dog in cars is to not leave them in the car even if it's just for a few minutes," Otis said. "A few minutes can turn into a few minutes more, you can get busy, you lose track of time and the whole time you've got a dog that may be in trouble."

Other misconceptions that stood out to the doctors was parking under shady areas and that the child or pet was only in the car for a short time.

Both agree, it's best to never leave your child or dog in the car for long periods of time


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