Dog days of summer can be brutal for pets, kids

    Summer heat can turn your car into a four-door furnace in matter of
    minutes, warns BCAA

    BURNABY, BC, July 7 /CNW/ - With warmer temperatures in the forecast,
BCAA is warning drivers of the hazardous risks to children and pets left in
unattended vehicles. Each year, BCAA's Road Assist service rescues almost
300 children and pets from locked cars.
    Many of BCAA's 'lock-in' calls occur when doors unexpectedly close while
owners are distracted or while children playing with keys lock themselves
    "Although our road service personal can usually free a child or pet from
a locked car within minutes of receiving a call, warmer temperatures could
mean the difference between a happy rescue and a tragedy," explains BCAA's
Road Assist Director, Ken Cousins. "When we receive a call notifying us that a
child is locked in a car, we drop everything. We dispatch the nearest resource
to get there as soon as possible."
    Cars sitting in the hot summer sun act like magnifying glasses, creating
intense interior heat. Interior temperatures can climb as high as 40 or 50
degrees C in just 10 to 20 minutes. Babies can become distressed in just five
minutes and in less than 40 minutes, a child or pet could suffer severe
dehydration or heat stroke.

    To help drivers protect their precious cargo this summer, BCAA

    -   Never leave a child or pet alone in a car - even with the windows

    -   Check to make sure all children and pets leave the vehicle when you
        reach your destination. Don't overlook sleeping infants.

    -   Before buckling children in the car, check to make sure surfaces such
        as seat belt buckles aren't overly hot as they could burn a child's
        sensitive skin.

    -   Teach children not to play in cars and keep car keys out of reach and

    -   Keep your vehicle locked at all times - even at home in the garage or
        driveway. This will help prevent toddlers from crawling into a car
        and accidentally locking themselves inside.

    -   When running errands, leave children with a responsible adult or use
        drive-through services, keeping idling to a minimum.

    -   Before heading off to run errands, think about whether your pet
        really needs to come with you, or if they would be more comfortable
        and safer left at home.

    -   If a child or pet is locked inside a vehicle, call BCAA and/or 9-1-1
        in an extreme emergency.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 780,000 members and
$120 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. In 2007 and 2008,
BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR
consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report on Business
magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member advocacy,
visit For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Timm, Advisor, Media Relations, Tel:
(604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859, E-mail:

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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