AP NEWS

Our View: Car death tragedy serves as a cruel hot weather reminder

May 14, 2019

Lake Havasu City got a cruel reminder over the weekend about just how unforgiving the heat can be, and truth is, we’ve not yet reached the scorching summer temperatures we’re known for. This tragedy is proof that even in days of comfortable weather, it’s important to be vigilant about never leaving children or pets in an automobile. Saturday’s high was around 90 degrees, but inside a car, the ambient air temperature can easily get near 200 degrees in a matter of minutes. Not realizing those very real dangers was the fatal mistake made by a Lake Havasu City father on Saturday.

It’s a tragedy to be sure, but it’s one we can all learn from. Don’t leave your kids in your car, even if you’re just running an errand. Whether it’s 70 degrees outside or 120, remember that the interior of your vehicle can reach unsafe temperatures in a matter of minutes. A Stanford University School of Medicine Study confirmed what many people already know: It doesn’t take long for your car to heat up, even in relatively cool outside temperatures. A car acts like a greenhouse, trapping hot air inside the vehicle. The study found that 80 percent of the temperature rise occurs in the first half-hour – about the time it takes to run that errand.

Havasu will get a lot hotter in a few days. As you go about your business, look out for your friends and neighbors. In short, be a snoop. Scan the vehicles around you, looking for signs of trouble. Don’t rely on sounds of distress to alert you to a disaster in the making. Children and pets often become quiet as heat overcomes them, so don’t expect to hear crying or other audible indications of trouble.

If you do come across an unsafe situation, report it police immediately by calling 911. Let this one tragedy be the only one our community suffers this summer.

— Today’s News-Herald