Officials say it over and over, but it still happens: Kids and pets left in hot cars

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It is that time of the year where heat is a huge factor. Tucson reached its first 100 degree day Tuesday, breaking the old record high. This is just the beginning of a long hot summer.

Unfortunately, that comes with many dangers including leaving children and pets inside hot cars. It sounds like common sense but it only takes a few minutes to cost a life.

“It is that time of the year to keep reinforcing that message, that is all we can really do is communicate, communicate, communicate,” said Valenzuela.

Louie Valenzuela with the Pima County Health Department said it sounds like a no-brainer. But he said it is more common than you might think.

“We see that a lot of times these are way preventable experiences and deaths are very preventable of course so over 50% of the deaths that are happening nationwide of kids left in hot cars, are just forgotten situations.”

He said the hustle and bustle of life can result in your child or pet’s death.

“In 100 degree temperatures, which is really common in the next few weeks, it can go up to 140 degrees in your minutes vehicle within 15 minutes and then it upticks from there.”

With those temperatures, heat stoke and death are possible. So time is of the essence.

The Tucson Police Department said, no matter how quick you are running into a store or whatever the case may be, never leave your child or pet in the car.

If you do see a child or pet in distress, Tucson Police said, call 911 right away.

Unfortunately, these incidents do happen every year and usually result in child or animal abuse charges.

“People don’t expect it to happen to them,” said Valenzuela.

But it does and in fact, Valenzuela said, it is very likely a child or pet will be left inside a hot car.

It is all about coming up with a plan and leaving a reminder, anything to protect that little guy or girl in the back seat.

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