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. If you think leaving a window partially open will help cool down the car, you are sadly mistaken.

Studies have found “cracking” your window is of little or no help to decreasing the interior temperature. Interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle can rise 19 degrees Fahrenheit after only 10 minutes in the sun, 34 degrees after 30 minutes, and 45-50 degrees in about one hour.

The rapidly increasing interior temperature of a vehicle can cause injury to people and pets, even when outdoor daytime temperatures are in the 80’s or low 90’s. Basically, your car will turn into an oven. If you wouldn't want to be stuck in a car with unbearable heat, why would you put your pet or loved one through it?

Remember to be smart about the hot weather that is soon approaching. The Las Cruces Police Department offers these safety tips:

  • Drink sufficient amounts of water when working or playing outdoors.
  • Wear protective (hat, light-colored, vented or UPF-rated) clothing outdoors.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave pets or people (sleeping babies, children, elderly) in a vehicle – even with the windows “cracked” or down.
  • Place a purse or wallet in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Always lock your car when unattended and teach children that vehicles are never to be used as play areas.
  • Provide proper shade and fresh water for pets.
  •  Avoid overexertion of dogs such as walking/jogging them during the heat of the day.
  • Do not leave pets in the bed of a pickup as surface temperatures can rise quickly.
  •  Don’t let breezes or windy weather fool you. The lack of circulation inside an enclosed vehicle on a warm day, even with windows “cracked,” can be deadly.
  •  Call 911 if you see a person or pet left unattended in an enclosed vehicle.
  •  Seek immediate medical attention for people or pets who have succumb to the heat.