July 25, 2006

Children, pets and cars a risky mix, BCAA warns

Burnaby, British Columbia – With hotter-than-average temperatures predicted, the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is warning drivers of the potential dangers of children and pets left in hot cars. So far this year, BCAA has rescued more than 130 children and 40 pets from locked cars. The Association says that many occurred when doors unexpectedly closed while owners were distracted, or while children playing with keys locked themselves inside.

On a sunny summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to more than 50C in just 10 to 20 minutes, and 75 per cent of the temperature increase is within the first five minutes of closing the car. Opening the window slightly does not keep the temperature at a safe level. Babies can become distressed in only five minutes, and in less than 40 minutes, a child or pet could suffer severe dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, resulting in serious illness or death.

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