Don’t Leave Me Behind: Remember kids, pets in cars this summer

May 9, 2018, 4:20 AM

Follow @ClineKathleen...

LISTEN: Don't Leave Me Behind Kickoff

It’s that time of year to remember not to leave pets or kids in hot vehicles.

The “Don’t Leave Me Behind” awareness campaign, through the Maricopa County Attorney’s office, kicked off Tuesday. It’ll run through August 31st.

“Last year we endeavored to have another year of zero … Tragically, in the last weekend of the campaign, we had two deaths,” said county attorney Bill Montgomery. “This year, the emphasis is on getting back to zero.”

Dr. Todd Nickoles, a trauma program manager at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, warned parents to be careful, particularly when breaking their typical routine.

“We must not think that it can never happen to us. A lot of these times it happens to these families that are very caring, but they break their normal routine,” he said. “Somebody’s who’s not used to driving the child takes them to daycare, or something like that.”

He added that a car in the sun can heat up 20 degrees every 10 minutes. That’s not just during the hottest summer days; even in an 80-degree day, it can reach 110 degrees in less than 15 minutes.

At 104 degrees, a child starts to show symptoms of heat stroke and organs begin to fail.

If a child in your care is showing signs of heat stroke, Dr. Nickoles said, do not toss the child into an ice bath. Their temperature needs to reduce slowly.

“If there is a child that’s in distress because of the heat, the most important thing to do is to get them out of the heat as quickly as possible,” he said. “(Start) misting them with some water to let them cool off.”

That goes for pets, too.

“Bring them into a cool area, and then start cooling down their (paw) pads – like getting a wet towel, then putting it on them,” said Cynthia McGuire with the Arizona Humane Society. “Pets don’t have the ability to sweat like you and me do; they can hit those internal high temps a lot faster.”

This year, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is partnering with the Arizona Humane Society, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Penguin Air & Plumbing to bring awareness of the issue to a wider audience.

“This is something that is 100% preventable,” Montgomery said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Picture of the Mitsubishi Montero that Phoenix police suspect hit an 11-year-old girl in a crosswal...

Damon Allred

Hit-and-run suspect sought in Phoenix after injuring child walking in crosswalk

Officers are searching for a hit-and-run suspect who hit an 11-year-old girl walking in a school crosswalk on Friday, Phoenix PD said.

2 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Police investigating deadly shootings in south Phoenix on Saturday morning

Police on Saturday morning were searching for a suspect or suspects after two people were fatally shot in south Phoenix in the early-morning hours.

4 hours ago

Rattlesnake activity...

Nick Borgia

Warmer temperatures leads to increased rattlesnake activity in the Valley

The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has seen an increase in rattlesnake activity in the Valley due to warmer weather.

6 hours ago

Housing program...

Nick Borgia

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces new $13M housing program

Gov. Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) announced a new housing program on Friday, called "Arizona is Home."

6 hours ago

The Lee Lee International Supermarkets store in Chandler. (Maison Solutions Inc.)...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Asian grocery chain acquired by California company

Arizona's Lee Lee International Supermarkets has been acquired by a Southern California-based specialty grocery retailer.

7 hours ago

Deshan Begay, 24, was struck by a vehicle while walking when he didn't have the right of way, polic...

Man fatally struck while crossing I-10 access road at red light in Phoenix

Deshan Begay, 24, was crossing the I-10 westbound access road on Wednesday evening when a vehicle fatally struck him, Phoenix police said.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Don’t Leave Me Behind: Remember kids, pets in cars this summer