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AAA reminds parents and pet owners of the dangers of extreme heat

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the last 25 years over 900 children have died of heat stroke while being left or trapped.

CLEVELAND — AAA released information on Tuesday to help remind parents and pet owners of the dangers of leaving their children and pets in hot cars.

With temperatures expected to reach the upper 90s, potentially reaching 100 degrees, every minute counts when it comes to keeping a beloved member of the family alive.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the last 25 years over 900 children have died of heat stroke while being left or trapped in a vehicle.

They also note that in just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise by 20 degrees, which is enough to become deadly.

“A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s and when a child is left in a hot vehicle, the situation could become life-threatening very quickly,” says Lori Cook, safety advisor, AAA East Central. “As parents, caregivers and bystanders, we all play a role in making sure children and animals are protected from these dangerous conditions.”

AAA urges parents and pet owners to follow the "ACT" steps:

  • Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child in the car alone, not even for a minute.
  • Create electronic reminders or put something in the backseat like a cell phone, purse, or briefcase that will be needed when exiting the car.  Always lock vehicles and never leave car keys or car remote where children can get to them.
  • Take action and immediately call 9-1-1- if a child or pet is found unattended in a car.

For pet owners of dogs and cats, any pet exhibiting these signs could be suffering from heat stroke:

  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Reddened gums and tongue
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Wobbly, uncoordinated movement

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