From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2002:
ATLANTA–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported on July 3, 2002 that at least 78 children died in accidents
associated with parked cars during 2000 and 2001, more than a third
of whom died from heat trauma.
The CDCP data indicates that animal advocates are doing a
much more effective job of communicating the risk of leaving pets
alone in cars than child protection agencies are accomplishing in
The dangers to either animals or small children are the same:
heat trauma is the most common cause of death or injury, followed by
accidents when a child or animal accidentally puts the car in gear,
accidents in which the child or animal escapes from the vehicle, and
cases of kidnapping or pet theft.