A very brave veterinarian conducted an experiment where he locked himself in the car for 30 minutes. Dr. Ernie Ward stays in a parked car on a summer day to see how dangerous it is to leave a pet inside a car. The car reaches 117 degrees within 30 minutes with all four windows opened 1 to 2 inches. You can watch the video at the bottom of this story.
Now imagine what it must have been like for innocent young toddler trapped for seven hours. It truly is so horrific that it is hard to imagine.
If you have ever left a child or pet in a hot car please do not ever and I mean EVER do it again! If you see a child in a hot car please do something about it and do not leave the car unless the parent quickly returns. If it is an especially hot day call attention to this to other people nearby and call 911. The thought of another forgotten child dying in such a horrible manner again this summer is something none of us want to read about and perhaps with a vigilant public another death can be prevented.
Please also do not think your dogs can tolerate the heat even for a short time. They cannot sweat and so overheat very fast. They can overheat far quicker than humans and cannot tolerate heat well which is why they sit over your air conditioning vents on the floor if you have those. They also can panic once their body temperature rises which speeds up their core temperature. Even when it may only be around 85 degrees outside, inside a car with just a few windows cracked it can be much much hotter. If you don’t believe me please watch the video below.
How is it possible to ever forget your kid in the car?
Unfortunately this story is not unique. It happens all the time all over the world. In Japan there are gambling parlors all over the country to play a game called Pachinko. It is like a vertical pinball machine. Every summer you hear of many deaths from parents becoming so involved in gambling that they forget about their child.
Everyone is familiar with muscle memory. Athletes especially know how comfortable it is to throw a football, catch a baseball, or serve a tennis ball because you have done it tens of thousands of times. But what people forget is we also get muscle memory from our daily routines. How many of you that have to take medications daily don’t sometimes question your memory at times unless you use memory devices like eating before meals, alarms, or other triggers to make sure you take your meds. Any routine we do every day can confuse our brain because it has a cache just like your smartphone or computer and stores important data and discards other less important memories. If you do a routine often enough your brain no longer singles that out as a priority memory which can lead you to question if your memory of taking your meds was from today or yesterday. Now I am not saying that is what happened in this case since there are many troubling details like the father sexting while his son was dying, or the strange reactions of the father or mother, or the internet searches about how to survive in prison. But just take note that your memory is actually not very reliable.
Tips to Avoid This Happening to You
Some of the easiest ways to avoid ever forgetting your child in the back seat is to leave something you never forget like your wallet, purse, phone, etc..in the backseat so you will have to open the backdoor to retrieve those items. If you are especially forgetful, try leaving your shoes in the backseat. You could also leave diapers or the baby bag in the front seat as a reminder. And if you decide to run some errand on a hot day then just leave Fido at home. Your 5 minute visit to Kroger might turn into 15 minutes of torture in 115 degree heat for your pet.