Hot car deaths: Protecting children and pets during high temperatures


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As temperatures are expected to reach the mid 90’s over the weekend, it’s important to focus on the health of yourself and your pets.

Renewed warnings are being issued from the Jackson Fire Department and local veterinarians. It’s a matter of life and death, but more importantly it can be prevented .

There were 52 hot car deaths nationwide in 2019, this year so far four deaths, but the hottest temperatures of the year are still on the way. That’s why experts are trying to get the message out to check twice before you leave your pet or child in your car.

“The outside temperature is 85 degrees inside of a car it can be up to 105 degrees within a matter of minutes,” said Cleotha Sanders, Division Fire Chief for the Jackson Fire Department.

A hot car can create a dangerous situation.

“It’s very important to put something on that back seat whether it be a briefcase , whether it be a purse , you know something that’s going to remind you when you make it to your destination that you take the opportunity to look and make sure that the child has been situated and not inside the car at that time,” Sanders said.

Pets are also susceptible to heated cars.

“We recommend not to leave your animal in a parked car even if it’s running and you think it’s just going to be a few minutes, you know your car could run out of gas and stop but the temperature inside of a car could ride very dramatically and very quickly so always just safe to take your pet home and go run your errands,” Dr. Madelyn and William Lloyd, veterinarians and owners of Ridgetowne Animal Hospital, said.

The results could be deadly.

“So they can actually you know collapse from heat stroke and ultimately die from it,” said Lloyd.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates hundreds of pets dying each year in hot parked cars.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • About 46 percent of the time when a child was forgotten, the caregiver meant to drop the child off at a daycare or preschool.
  • Thursdays and Fridays, the end of the workweek, have had the highest deaths.
  • Nearly 75 percent of children who are forgotten and die are under 2 years old.


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