Record heat brings concern for children and pets
Alaska, New Hampshire and Vermont are the only states without a documented case of hot car death since 1998, according to the National Safety Council. While that is good news for those in the Last Frontier, it doesn't mean that can't happen.
Lately, Anchorage and Southcentral has been dealing with a series of record-breaking temperatures and with the warmest stretch of weather yet to come, it's important to remember the dangers that can come with hot weather. Just this year in the United States, 17 children have already died from being left in a vehicle in the hot summer sun, bringing the total to 812 deaths since 1998.
And temperatures continue to climb above record values. Even here in Alaska, temperatures have reached unprecedented levels and Anchorage's record of its warmest day ever is in jeopardy this week.
High pressure that has anchored itself across the state will continue to strengthen in the coming days and bring even warmer temperatures to the region.
But why does high pressure translate to record warmth? In general, high pressure leads air in the atmosphere to sink, compress and warm up. On top of that, the high pressure is essentially a cap on the atmosphere and prevents the heat from escaping. This is why mornings start off feeling fairly mild and the afternoons see warmer and warmer temperatures.
This is also why it's important to make sure you are taking the necessary precautions in keeping your kids and pets safe. With temperatures expected to climb into the low to mid-80s each afternoon, it will only take a matter of minutes before the interior of a vehicle can reach or exceed 100 degrees.
In a press release last week, the Anchorage Fire Department recommends for parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions in order to reduce the risk of forgetting a child inside a vehicle.
Parents magazine offers some suggestions too:
- Keep something you need in the backseat. Whether it be a purse, a phone, or your shoes, let it be something that is part of your daily routine.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the passenger seat beside you to remind you that your child is in the car with you.
- Write a sticky note and place it on the steering wheel.
- Set a reminder on your phone. Smart phones now have the capability to remind you when you leave a set geographic area.
- Make it a routine to look before you lock.
While the high temperatures show some signs of weakening into early next week, the heat will still be dangerous and a reminder that heat dangers exist even in the 49th State.
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