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AAA: “Look Before You Lock,” Keeping Kids and Pets SAFE

AAA: “Look Before You Lock,” Keeping Kids and Pets SAFE
July 30
09:49 2020

AAA: Look Before You Lock
Safety advocate reminds parents and caregivers of the dangers of hot cars as the coronavirus pandemic has shifted family routines


PHOENIX, Ariz. (July 30, 2020) — As Arizona prepares to swelter under a long streak hot temperatures, AAA Arizona is reminding Arizonans about the unfortunate reality they face every year — the danger high temperatures can pose to children and pets left inside a vehicle. 

“It seems unimaginable to leave a child or pet in the car, but more than half of these reported tragedies involve an adult who simply forgot,” said Aldo Vazquez, spokesperson for AAA Arizona.  “Temperatures rise fast in parked cars.  Children and pets are more susceptible to heatstroke as their bodies heat up faster than adults.”

According to the National Safety Council, the inside of a vehicle can heat up as fast as 50 degrees, compared to the outside in just 30 minutes, and heat stroke can happen even when outside temperatures are as low as 57 degrees. 862 children have died in the United States since 1998 after being left in a hot vehicle; thirteen so far in 2020, according to the NSC. Since 1998, 40 children in Arizona have lost their lives to heat related deaths after being left inside a hot vehicle. Historically, these tragedies occur most frequently in July and August.

AAA Roadside Assistance responds to 25,000-35,000 lockout calls across the west region, which includes Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Northern California, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, each month. AAA Arizona urges Arizonans to call 911 immediately if they spot a child or pet inside a locked vehicle.

“COVID-19 is also continuing to shift many family routines,” said Vazquez. “We want to remind parents and caregivers of precautions they can take to keep children and pets safe this summer.” 

AAA Arizona offers the following tips to prevent heat related tragedies: 

  • Look before you leave. Always check the front and back seats of your vehicle before you get out. Consider putting a daily-use item in the backseat with your child to ensure you look back there. Additionally, establish visual cues in the front seat, like a diaper bag or stuffed toy, to help remind you that precious cargo is in the back.
  • Be aware of “breaking your routine.” Ask your childcare provider to call if your child does not show up to daycare when they normally do. If you are dropping off your child, and it’s normally your spouse or caregiver’s duty, have them call you to ensure the drop-off went accordingly.  Set an alarm with your child and/or pet’s name to ring at the time you’re due at your destination as a reminder to check on them. 
  • Never leave children/pets unattended in a vehicle. Even if the car is running, many vehicles have automatic systems that can lock you out, keeping you from your child/pet should a situation become dangerous.  
  • Warn your children about the dangers of playing in or around vehicles. Always lock your doors, and keep keys out of reach so children cannot get into the car. Keep the rear fold-down seats closed to help prevent kids from getting into the trunk.

The National Security Council provided this checklist to create helpful routines to protect your children and pets from hot cars.

AAA: “Look Before You Lock,” Keeping Kids and Pets SAFE - overview

Summary: AAA "Look Before You Lock" Keeping Kids and Pets SAFE


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