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Police: Don't leave pets or children in hot cars

By Karissa Manis, Producer, kmanis@wcyb.com
Published On: Jun 23 2013 08:11:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 23 2013 02:23:24 PM CDT

   With temperatures well into the 80's Sunday, police want to remind you about the importance of not leaving your child or pet in the car.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

With temperatures well into the 80s Sunday, police want to remind you about the importance of not leaving your child or pet in the car.

84 degrees is a typical temperature on a summer day outside, but get inside a car that number rises.

That's why Lt. Eric Jenkins with the Johnson City Police Department says it's important to never leave a child or pet in the car. "Vehicles sitting in a parking lot, temperatures can rise dramatically from what the outside temperature is. For example, if the temperature's around 80 degrees Fahrenheit,
it can be up into the 120s and 130s inside of a car," he says.

According to www.kidsandcars.org, 38 children die on average in hot cars each year from heat related deaths. So far this year 14 children have died. That's something Dora Adams says needs to change. "For somebody to leave a child in there and think, 'well, it's going to be okay.' It's not," she said.

But the organization says even the best of parents or caregivers can overlook a sleeping baby in a car, resulting in injury or even death.

That's why Lt. Jenkins says if you see a pet or child in a car alone, call the police. "Contact 911 as soon as possible and we'll dispatch a unit to get there as quick as we can," he explained.

He says having the windows rolled down helps a little, but it's still not a good idea. Adams' advice is to "leave the pets at home, leave the children with somebody. If you're not able to take them into the store. Because just a few minutes makes a big difference."

Some tips to help you out:

Always lock car doors and trunks, even at home.

Keep keys out of reach so kids can't get into the car without you knowing.

When driving, put your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have a child in the car.