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Hot cars pose deadly trap for children, pets

By Wanda Moore
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:09:04 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2014 09:54:43 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Wanda Moore talked to experts about how to prevent deadly heat strokes in hot cars.

BEND, Ore. -

Summer has finally arrived on the High Desert, and with it the heat.  With temperatures in the 90s, it's important to look out for small children and pets, especially in cars.

"You should never ever, ever leave your kids in the car," said Dr. Caroline Gutmann from the Central Oregon Pediatrics Association.

It does happen and when it does it can have deadly consequences. Just recently there was a string of cases nationwide where toddlers were left in cars and died from heat exhaustion.

"It happens, and it is not that rare," Gutmann said Tuesday.

Heat exhaustion can happen quickly, and often parents underestimate just how fast a car can get hot in deadly fashion.

We tried it out and on a 90 degree day, in a matter of 15 minutes, the temperature inside of your car reaches 120 degrees.

"I think very often, errands take longer than they think," Gutmann said.

The same danger is true for pets left in the car.

"It's a big no-no," said Dr Scott Shaw from Westside Pet Hospital in Bend. "I mean, a lot of people intend on going into a store for only a short amount of time. It always ends up being longer."

Symptoms of heat exhaustion in children include vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and headache. 

For dogs, symptoms include vigorous panting, weakness, staggering and a darker colored gum. 

"It could mean death, because they could become over heated," said Shaw.

Some common tips for not forgetting your child or pet in the back of a car include putting your briefcase, lunch, or cellphone in the back next to them. You can even tie a string from the back door to the front door.

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