Local fire departments urge people to ‘look before you lock’ to prevent hot car deaths

NOW: Local fire departments urge people to ‘look before you lock’ to prevent hot car deaths

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) – With summer getting closer, local fire departments and health experts are reminding people to never leave children or pets in cars alone.

They say it only takes a few minutes for a car to get extremely hot.

“Even for that short 10 or 15-minute run into the grocery store, don’t do it, it’s that simple,” South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joseph Knitter said.

The Western Lakes Fire District posted a graphic on social media showing how hot the inside of a car can get.

“Look before you lock,” Knitter said. “Before you lock, check the backseat and don’t ever leave a loved one or your pet in the vehicle.”

Doctors say children don’t get rid of body heat like adults, so even a few minutes in the car can be very dangerous.

“It’s something that unfortunately we do see every summer,” American Family Children’s Hospital Dr. Ben Eithun said. “If you’re in a car restraint like a car seat or something like that, there’s often more contact with clothing and with the material of the seats, so they are going to get hotter faster.”

Eithun urging parents to pay extra attention.

“I think the message is always it can happen to anybody, I’ve had some phenomenal parents that have come into my ICU or other places where I know it was a momentary lapse of judgment or they completely forgot, it happens to the best of parents so don’t feel like anybody is immune,” Eithun said.

Knitter encourages people to leave reminders in the front seat of their car or put something like a purse of wallet in the back seat.

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