The Las Cruces Police Department is reminding motorists that rising daytime temperatures can cause death or serious injury to pets or people left in an enclosed vehicle.

Studies show that the interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle can increase 19 degrees Fahrenheit after only 10 minutes in the sun, 34 degrees after 30 minutes and 45-50 degrees in about one hour. The interior temperature of a vehicle can increase rapidly, and cause injury to pets, even when daytime temperatures are in the 80s or low 90s.

Studies show that the practice of leaving a vehicle window partially open, or “cracked,” has little effect on decreasing the interior temperature.

People can succumb to heatstroke when the core body temperature reaches 104 F. A core body temperature of 107 F is considered lethal. People or pets can be seriously injured or die from heatstroke in just a few minutes of exposure to temperatures that high.

People who work or play outdoors should avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day. Pet owners are reminded to provide adequate shelter and fresh water for their pets.

Las Cruces Police Department

Las Cruces Police Department offers these additional safety recommendations:

  • Drink sufficient amounts of water when working or playing outdoors.
  • Wear protective clothing (hat, light-colored or vented clothes) while outdoors.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave people or pets in an unattended vehicle – even with the windows down.
  • Ensure all occupants leave the car when unloading and don’t overlook sleeping babies.
  • Place a purse or wallet in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Always lock your car. If a child is missing check the car first, including the trunk.
  • Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as play areas.
  • Provide proper shade and fresh water for pets.
  • Do not leave pets in an open bed of a pickup as surface temperatures can rise quickly.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for people or pets who have succumb to the heat.