Georgia toddler death prompts prevention campaign proposal

Monday, June 30, 2014
Justin Ross Harris charged with felony murder
after leaving his 22-month-old son in
a sweltering son
[PHOTO: Cobb County Sheriff's Office/Handout] 
Marietta, Georgia: The tragic death of a 22-month-old toddler locked inside a blistering-hot car in Marietta has garnered national attention, and now PETA has written to Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin asking if he would permit the group to place its eye-catching “Time Expired” advisories on parking meters throughout the city. The decals show a child and a dog inside a parked car and read, “Time Expired: Children and Dogs Die in Hot Cars.” The campaign aims to remind everyone that no child and no dog should ever be left unattended in a car—even in just warm weather, because even then, temperatures inside the vehicle can climb rapidly and unexpectedly.

“PETA’s parking meter stickers can save the most vulnerable among us: children and animals, who need all the protection they can get from summer heat exhaustion and fatalities,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “People in Marietta—and across the country—can forget that you should never to leave a child or an animal in a parked car on hot or warm days, no matter how quick the errand, as distractions come up all the time and fatal mistakes can be made.”

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows slightly open. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, his or her body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s, and because dogs can cool themselves only by panting, they can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes and can sustain brain damage or die as a result.

According to a San Francisco State University study, more than 600 children have died in hot cars since 1998, and PETA receives numerous reports every year about panicked animals who have died painfully inside cars during warm weather.
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