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Phoenix police and fire warn against leaving children and pets in hot car

PHOENIX – It happens all of the time.

People leave their kids and pets in the car thinking they’re going to be inside a convenience store for just a minute.

Phoenix fire crews demonstrated Friday why that’s not a good idea. They placed a thermometer inside a Toyota Camry parked just outside of a Quick Trip convenience store near Third Avenue and Indian School road. Within minutes, the temperature inside the car rose from just over 90 degrees to over 140.

“People who leave kids in a car that hot sometimes return to find them dead. “It’s horrible to see. It’s a horrific death,” said Phoenix Fire Captain Frank Solomon. “It’s death of hyperthermia, and basically cooks your brain.”

Solomon said many times, kids and pets are left in the car by mistake. “Of all of the children that died in this horrific way last year, 52 percent were from parents that just absolutely forgot [they were in the car].”

That’s why Phoenix Fire, police and the Arizona Humane Society are putting up signs at the entrances of “QT” convenience stores telling customers to make sure they haven’t left their kids and pets in the car.

Solomon said even if your child does survive, leaving your kid in a car in this heat could get you into big trouble.

“It’s illegal, and parents will face charges if a child or a pet is abandoned in this way,” Solomon said.

Solomon said you should not leave your child or pet in the car even with the air conditioning on. He said that too many things could happen for the air conditioning to either break down or get turned off.