Children and Pets Most Susceptible to Hot Car Deaths

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- As the weather warms up a warning about the dangers of leaving children or pets in hot cars.

"Two to three times a year we will see a dog that has been left in a car," said local veterinarian Melanie Rossin-Gray. "It's not always a case of one that comes in gravely ill, but it's sick enough that it needs to be treated and rehydrated." 
 
Experts say it's not uncommon for pet owners to crack a window and leave animals inside their vehicles.  
 
"It's still far too hot," said Rossin-Gray. "Rolling down the windows is not an effective method. " 
 
Animals can become dehydrated faster than most people realize.  
 
"Dogs and cats become dehydrated quicker than we do because they don't have as much water to lose before it becomes a big issue," explained Rossin-Gray. "They can die as quickly as 20 to 30 minutes in a hot car." 
 
It's not just pets that are susceptible, young children are also defenseless in a hot car. 
 
"I don't believe we have ever had to deal with a specific incident where a child was left in a car and became a victim of heat exhaustion," said local paramedic Tim Brumley. 
 
Paramedics are well equipped to handle heat exhaustion during the summer months.  
     
"We place them in a cool environment and replace fluids that are lost," said Brumley.   
 
Paramedics remind parents to never leave their children unattended in a vehicle.  
 
"Even if you are going to leave your car just for a few minutes, it's important to remember to take the child with you," explained Brumley.  
 
Marion Regional
Current: 82°
Partly Cloudy
High: 84°
Low: 75°
Wind: 9 MPH
Pressure: 0.00
Humidity: 70 %

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