Summer travel safety for the entire family

You're about to hit the road for that summer trip. This heat wave can give you a few more things to think about.
Reporter Steve Campion & AAA Texas teamed up on our morning show today to help you prepare to travel in this heat.

Many of you will take your pets with you on vacation. It's important to keep in mind how the heat might impact them.
Special guests from Special Pals Shelter here in Houston were on hand to help demonstrate how to travel safely with your entire family.

As summer temperatures heat up, it's even more dangerous to leave kids and pets in vehicles. Temperatures inside a car, even on a mild, sunny day, can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes. Children are particularly susceptible to heatstroke because their bodies can heat up five times faster than adults. Heatstroke deaths have been recorded in 11 months of the year in nearly all 50 states. More than half of heatstroke deaths occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot a quiet child was in the vehicle.

Animals are equally impacted by summer heat. Dogs are not able to sweat like humans do, but instead cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paws. If they have only overheated air to breathe, they can collapse, suffer brain damage and die of heatstroke.

While you can't control high heat, you do have some power to help protect you, your family, and your vehicle. Be sure to take the following precautions when you leave your car in the heat:

Never leave children or animals unattended in a car, not even for a short period of time. Outside air temperatures in the nineties can rise to 125 degrees inside the vehicle very quickly and can cause brain damage or death.

AAA Texas says these tips can prevent heat injuries and save lives:
-Create reminders and habits that give you and caregivers a safety net. Leave an item needed at your next stop in the back seat so you don't forget about your loved one.
-Take action if you see an unattended child or pet in a vehicle. Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
-Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.
-Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway.
-Never leave keys and/or remote openers within reach of children.
-When parked, use a sun shield to cover the windshield to minimize heat buildup and to help protect the car's interior. Cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns.

Open the vehicle's doors and let the interior cool for a few minutes before entering.

Remember to remove electronics such as cell phones, iPods, etc. from your vehicle, as the high heat can drain the batteries and possibly damage internal components.

All the dogs featured this morning are available for adoption from Special Pals Shelter.

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