Car Safety for Pets and Kids in the Summer

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Summer brings warm weather for fun in the sun, but the heat can be a threat when it comes to our vehicles. The sun is responsible for fading many candy-apple-red rides into kinda-awful-red rides. There are ways to prevent UV damage, but we also need to protect what’s inside our cars and trucks.

Vehicles can be repainted, but summer heat can be deadly for kids and pets inside a hot automobile. Since 1998, more than 900 children have died from vehicular heatstroke - an average of 38 each year. We can all help prevent these tragedies by being mindful and aware of our surroundings with these tips.  

Hot Car Myth Busters and Facts

One way to keep kids and pets safe during summer driving is to get the facts and expose the myths. See, many people think cracking a window on a hot day will keep a pet cooler in a car, but that is not true. The American Veterinary Medical Association has shown that cracking a window does little to lower temperatures.

Even a mild 70-degree day can turn a vehicle’s interior into a deadly trap as windows allow heat to build up quickly. It’s like a mobile greenhouse and in just ten minutes, pets can go into heat stress. They may experience:

  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Glazed eyes
  • Vomiting

Fact - it’s never safe to leave your pet unattended in your vehicle.

Summer Heat Hurts Kids Fast

Same goes for children, of course. They should never be left in a parked vehicle and there’s another risk with youngsters. These little ones can become trapped in a car by locking themselves inside if left unattended. Always take the keys out when you exit the vehicle. And keep it locked at all times to prevent children from gaining entrance.

Children are super susceptible to dangerous summer heat because their body temperature can rise faster than adults. 3 to 5 times faster! And heat stroke begins when the core body temperature reaches 104 degrees.

Reminders Save Pets and Kids

So, what can we do? Well, we need reminders, or we forget things like oil changes and getting a car wash on time, right? So, reminders are needed for stuff we think we could never forget too. Like a child or pet left behind in a hot car. Thinking it could never happen to us is dangerous. Because anyone can forget in our distraction-filled world.

That’s why there are some warning systems on the market to remind drivers that passengers are being left in the rear seat. Another way to remind yourself you have a backseat passenger is to leave your purse, briefcase, or one shoe in the back. It may seem silly, but it is an added layer of security that is super simple and could save a life, especially if you aren’t accustomed to hauling around young kids or pets.

Protect Your Hot Ride

Life is busy, distracting, and stressful so we need helpful safety reminders when it comes to our loved ones and pets. Not a bad idea to protect that car or truck you love from summer heat too. Nobody wants the sun’s UV rays changing their paint job from shiny to old-timey. And if you park in the shade you are inviting birds to “vandalize” your vehicle.

Regular trips to an easy ride-through car wash keeps bugs, bird droppings, and road grime from wrecking your car’s paint. And free vacs at Zips Car Wash can keep the interior free of dirt, dust, and debris. As for those UV rays, Zips helps block those with our Z5x Ceramic Coating. It’s designed to keep your paint job from fading and makes bird droppings easy to wash off. 

Or you could just leave your vehicle safely parked in a shady garage all summer. But where’s the fun in that?! Cheers to hitting the road for the best summer ever!