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Hot weather warning: 500 pets and children locked in cars last summer – AA 

Hot weather warning: 500 pets and children locked in cars last summer – AA 

Parents and dog owners are being warned to be on their guard against locking their children or pets inside the car on the first hot weekend of the summer. 

Last summer, the AA attended around 500 call-outs where either a pet or child had been locked in the car, an average of 4 a day*. 

Also, the fear is that with many people in lockdown buying a dog for company, there will be many new owners that don't appreciate the threat from the sun and heat. Previously, the AA melted a 7kg solid chocolate dog in a matter of hours**, but the danger for a real dog can become critical within less than half an hour. 

The AA recommends using window blinds to help shield children and passengers from direct sun; and the use of sunglasses to reduce glare. 

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: "Children and pets are particularly vulnerable as they are less able to cope with high temperatures and heat-related illnesses such as dehydration. As people head out to explore and enjoy their summer we're reminding drivers to take care not to accidentally – or deliberately even for a moment - leave people or pets alone in the car. 

"The shade doesn't offer any protection either as the temperatures reached can be unbearable. 

"If your car breaks down your air conditioning won't work either, so take an umbrella for some portable shade and make sure you have plenty of drinking water with you – at least a litre per person and extra for pets." 

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