Dangers of Leaving Pets and Kids in Hot Cars

Dangers of Leaving Pets and Kids in Hot Cars

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Extreme heat is coming to Mid-Michigan to start the weekend.

Temperatures will be in the 90's and the Meridian Township Police Department wanted to remind resident's not to leave kids or pets in unattended vehicles.

Officer Erin Linn gave some details on the laws regarding leaving children in cars.

"Michigan passed a law in 2016 that said children under 6 years old cannot be left unattended in a vehicle. The person attending that child would have to be 13 or older. So it is a crime to leave a child under 6 in vehicle, and that's any time of year."

Though there are no such laws for leaving dogs unattended, a person who's dog is hurt could be facing some criminal charges.

Officer Linn recommends that 70 degrees be a threshold.

"The concern is especially in the summer months when the temperatures do get warm. Vehicles can heat up very quickly. People may not be aware of just how quickly a vehicle can heat up in what seems to us to be mild 70 degree weather. My rule of thumb, what I tell people is 70 degrees. Whenever it is above 70 you have to be aware of where you're parking your vehicle, and what you're leaving behind in your vehicle."

Pets and children are more susceptible to heat related injuries because they cannot regulate their body temperature as well as an adult human.

Dogs in particular need airflow to be able to cool themselves by panting.

High humidity mixed with high temps is also more dangerous for dogs as their panting won't work since the humid air doesn't allow for as much evaporation off their tongues.

Some tips for beating the heat for both humans and pets include staying hydrated, taking cool showers or baths, and staying in the shade and off pavement.

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