Hazards of a hot car

The Summer heat brings with it swimming, sunshine and outdoor fun. But it also brings many potential threats for you and your family involving your vehicle.

Your car can be an extremely dangerous place to be in during the Summer if you aren't being proactive and thinking safe.

Many times during the Summer, a car can overheat and shut down if you aren't properly taking care of it.

"If it's not working, for instance this cooling fan, that will cause the engine to overheat, and your AC not to work," Car Care Professional Dan Pfibsen said.

Experts say to look for warning signs, such as the check engine light, which is the first indicator of something gone wrong.

"We don't want to ignore the check engine light. If it's on, have it looked at. Because there might be pre-warning there so you don't have trouble late there," Pfibsen said. "That check engine light is a very valuable item. He actually is a tattle tale system. He'll tell you when there's a problem."

Another precaution you need to take is keeping your loved ones out of the car when it isn't running. This goes for people and pets.

"One of the things that we're always concerned about is regardless of the temperature but especially when it's over 90 degrees is hyperthermia or heat stroke in children. And we know that because kids are much smaller in size that their body temperature rises three to five times faster than yours and mine in a vehicle or a confined space," Safe Kids of Adams County Coordinator Jan Hummel explained.

Fourteen children so far, this year have died from being left in a car. They succumbed to heat stroke. Within five minutes, a car's interior temperature reaches that of outside air.

"So on a day like today when its ninety degrees or going to be ninety degrees the temperature even within a half an hour can go well up into a hundred and forty degrees. And when a child is in that environment even for fifteen to thirty minutes there body temperature rises, which of course can lead to death," Hummel said.

Hummel said a helpful tip to help prevent children or pets being left in a car is putting your belongings in the back seat so that you have to look there before leaving the vehicle.

Story by KHQA Reporter Meghan Townley.