Heat Wave Coming, Don’t Leave Pets or Kids in Car

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Extreme heat is on the way and the National Weather service is issuing a warning: don’t leave your kids or pets inside a car outside unattended.

“This is going to be the first essentially hot-spell we’ve seen across the state since last summer,” says Kelsey Angle with the National Weather Service.  This weekend central Iowa break heat records with temperatures climbing to near triple digits.  That made for perfect timing for the annual Heat Awareness Day in Iowa on Thursday.

“It’s about 80 degrees today, so in about 10 minutes it’s going to be 100 degrees in that car,” said Cameron Stufflebeam with Polk County Emergency Management Services in a demonstration today in Des Moines.

Each year, almost 40 kids die from heat related illness directly associated with being left in the car.  “Already this year, we’ve seen seven fatalities across the U.S. from children that have died in a vehicle because they haven’t had a way to get out, so it does happen,” said Angle.

When temps are 100 degrees outside, the inside of your car can get up to 160 degrees in as little at 10 minutes.  At that temperature you can suffer from heat stroke in just a matter of minutes. If you get too hot, your organs will begin to shut down and you could die.

Heat has a worst effect on dogs. If you leave them in the car in that kind of heat they could die in as little as 10 minutes.

And it doesn’t matter if you crack the windows.  "Still, doesn’t make much of difference at all. Your vehicle kid of acts like a greenhouse. So, if you’ve ever been inside of a greenhouse, after you have walked outside and back inside. You’ll notice that intense heat. That is the same with a vehicle except the temperatures are often times warmer,” said Angle.    

Experts recommend putting your phone or purse in the backseat when you first get into the car so you'll have to look behind you before getting out of the car.