Warm Weather Riding with Pets and Children

It does noÂ’t take long for children and/or pets to become overheated in a car, even on a mild day with the windows cracked open. In fact, even if it is in the mid 70Â’s, the interior of a car can quickly climb to over 100 degrees or more minutes. And while many of us have all either been left in cars to wait for our parents while growing up, or have left our own children or pet sitting in a vehicle while we ran into a store “for “just a minute”” without any serious consequences, it is important to remember NEVER to do it!

Keep in mind that an average of 38 children, most under the age of two years old, have died from heatstroke each year since the late 1990Â’s after being trapped inside an overheated vehicle. In fact, it should be noted that a child’s body temperature can “rise as much as five times faster than an adultÂ’s” in the same situation.

As the temperatures climb inside the car, the extreme heat can cause a child to exhibit the following symptoms: Leg and/or stomach cramps, hot, red, dry skin but no sweating; rapid pulse, headache, vomiting, dizziness, irritability, rapid, shallow breathing, confusion, lethargy, and at worse, unconsciousness or even coma.

If you do find a child in an overheated car, remove them immediately and place them in a cool, shaded spot, or get them into an air-conditioned room as fast as possible. Fan them and remove any excess clothing. If possible, apply cool water to their heads, back of the neck and wrists. Even better, immerse them in a tub or pool of cool water. However, be sure that the water is not too cold, as this may actually cause the child to start shivering, which in turn can raise their temperatures even higher. If the child is conscious, be sure to give them water to drink (slowly), and keep their feet elevated. In extreme cases, call 911.

Note: Readers who leave their dogs in locked cars while they run errands during the summer need to keep a close eye out for signs of heatstroke or stress. If the dog is panting heavily, salivating or foaming at the mouth, get him to a cool place quickly and place ice on the pads of his paws, as well as on the back of his head. Also provide small sips of cool water. If you do not see any improvement after a few minutes, call your vet.

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