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AAA Mid-Atlantic highlights the danger cars pose during heatwave

Delaware Public Media

During this week’s heat wave in Delaware, AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds people to make sure children or pets are not left in the car for any reason.


Nationwide, nine children have died from vehicular heatstroke so far this year.  Last year, the total was 53.

And AAA Mid-Atlantic notes quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic has taken many people out of the routine of driving with kids or pets, increasing the potential of leaving them in a dangerously hot car.

AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Jana Tidwell says temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly blow past 104 -  the temperature internal organs start to shut down - during weeks like this one.

"The steering wheel exposed to the sun and the heat of a car can reach 159 degrees easily. That's the temperature for cooking medium rare beef.  The seats can reach 162 degrees, the temperature for cooking ground beef," said Tidwell. "The dash can reach 181 degrees, and that's the temperature for cooking poultry."

So Tidwell and AAA urge motorists to ACT.

"Avoid heat stroke by never leaving a child unattended in the car. Create reminders for yourself, or put your work bag, your laptop, your wallet in the back seat. Make sure that you give yourself something to turn around for, some reason to go into the back seat,"said Tidwell.

The “T” part of ACT is to Take action and call 911 immediately if you notice a child unattended in a car.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.