July 30, 2007

Hot cars can kill children and pets in minutes, warns BCAA

Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) says that it rescues nearly 300 children and pets from locked cars each year, and warns motorists of the dangers of locking or leaving them in hot vehicles.

“Although our road service personnel can usually free a child or pet from a locked car within minutes of receiving a call, warmer temperatures could mean the difference between a happy rescue and a tragedy,” says Dave Chapman, BCAA manager for fleet operations. “When we receive a call from a member notifying us that a child is locked in a car, we drop everything. We dispatch the nearest resource to get there as soon as possible.”

BCAA says many of its “lock-in” calls occur when doors unexpectedly close while owners are distracted, or while children playing with keys lock themselves inside.

“Cars sitting in the hot summer sun act like magnifying glasses, creating intense interior heat,” Chapman says. “Interior temperatures can climb as high as 40 or 50 degrees C in just 10 to 20 minutes. Babies can become distressed in just five minutes and in less than 40 minutes, a child or pet could suffer severe dehydration or heat stroke.”

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