COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - With the summer heat kicking in, people are getting more concerned about others leaving kids and pets inside hot vehicles.
Over forty children and hundreds of pets die each year because of being left inside a car unattended.
Corporal Daniel Weiler with the City of Columbia Police Department says some people just get in the habit of forgetting things.
"People have a lot going on, constantly running," said Weiler. "You're in such a rush, that you can sometimes forget that you have a child or an animal in the back seat."
Law enforcement says it's never okay to leave a child or pet inside a vehicle, even if the windows are cracked. In fact, it can get just as hot if the windows are still up.
News 19 did, in fact, check the temperature change inside a car from the time we left and thirty minutes later. Initially, the interior of the car was around 90 degrees. After thirty minutes, the temperature shot up to around 105 degrees. That's a huge jump in a short amount of time.
Even though it may be cooler than normal in the Midlands this week, police say it will only become more dangerous as the temperature rises over the summer.
"As we go along in the summer months, it's only going to increase the temperature outside, which increases the temperature inside of a vehicle. It could take mere minutes for a child or animal to feel the effects," said Weiler.
So, what should you do if you see a child or a pet inside of a hot vehicle?
"The best thing to do is to call 9-1-1. We can have emergency personal there quickly, whether it's law enforcement, the fire department, or EMS. We can quickly deal with the situation," said Weiler. "The more descriptive you can be when you call, the better it is for us to find that vehicle. You know, you never want to lose a loved one."
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