It only takes 15 minutes for kids, pets to die in a hot car

Published 8:43 am Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To the Editor:

The 5-year-old boy who was allegedly left in a hot Richmond school bus for more than an hour is lucky to be alive.

Hot vehicles can be deadly for children and animals. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90 degrees, while the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in minutes—with the windows cracked open.

According to KIDS AND CARS, a national nonprofit organization that PETA has partnered with, hyperthermia is the third-leading cause of death in children in non-traffic vehicular incidents.

Countless dogs also suffer and die in hot cars each year. With only hot air to breath, dogs can succumb to heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes, resulting in brain damage or death.

Please, when it’s even a little warm outside, never leave any living being in a parked vehicle, even for a minute. If you see a child or dog left in a car, have the car’s owner paged or call local police or humane authorities right away.

Take immediate action—the victim’s life may depend on it.

Martin Mersereau, Director

PETA Emergency Response Team

Cruelty Investigations Department