The Las Cruces Police Department reminds motorists that rising daytime temperatures can cause death or serious injury to children and pets left in an enclosed vehicle.
Research shows that the interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle can rise 19 degrees Fahrenheit after only 10 minutes in the sun, 34 degrees after 30 minutes, and 45-50 degrees in about one hour. The rapidly increasing interior temperature of a vehicle can cause injury to people and pets, even when outdoor daytime temperatures are in the 80s or low 90s.
And studies show the practice of leaving a vehicle window partially open, or “cracked,” is of little or no help in decreasing the interior temperature. Overcast days offer shade but little help in keeping an enclosed vehicle cool enough for pets of children.
People can be critically injured or killed when the core body temperature reaches 104 F and a body temperature of 107 F is considered lethal.
The Las Cruces Police Department offers these safety tips.
- Do not leave pets or people (sleeping babies, children, elderly) in a vehicle – even with the windows “cracked” or down.
- Place a purse or wallet in the back seat as a reminder that your child is in the car.
- Do not leave pets in the bed of a pickup as surface temperatures can rise quickly.
- Don’t let breezes, windy weather or cloudy days fool you. The lack of circulation inside an enclosed vehicle on a warm day, even after sunset, can be deadly.
- Avoid leaving your vehicle running and unattended simply to keep the air conditioning on, such as to run into a convenience store. The vehicle could be stolen in seconds.
- Avoid overexertion of dogs such as walking/jogging them during the heat of the day.
- Provide proper shade and ventilation, and fresh water for pets.
- Always lock your car when unattended and teach children that vehicles are never to be used as play areas.
- Call 911 if you see a person or pet left unattended in an enclosed vehicle.
- Seek immediate medical attention for people or pets who have succumbed to the heat.