Warmer weather brings concerns for children and pets

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 6:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 6:48 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - When the temperatures rise, so do the calls the fire departments receive about people accidentally locking their children or pets in their vehicles.

While it’s never a good idea to leave a child or pet alone in the car, it’s crucial now more than ever to make sure you aren’t leaving anything or anyone in the car at the risk of them locking themselves in a hot car.

“Temperatures could rise really quick, well over 100 degrees in minutes inside those cars,” Jonesboro Fire Chief Marty Hamrick explained. “That is a problem, especially for kids, because their body temperature heats up more rapidly than an adult.”

Hamrick said they respond to around 50 calls a year relating to children or pets being locked in hot cars, and while sometimes they can talk children through the process of unlocking the car, they may have to turn to their last resort.

“The problems start when we have to show up because your kid or pet is in distress; our only option is to break your windows out,” Hamrick said.

Newer vehicles have safety features that remind the driver to check the back seat once the car is turned off, and Hamrick suggests leaving that safety feature on.