With summer-like temperatures returning to the state, local police are warning residents not to be idiots. Meaning, leaving kids or pets in a hot car. But, despite knowing the deadly consequences, some people continue to ignore the memo.
Despite numerous public service announcements, we always hear stories about kids or pets that perished in hot cars. Then, the media transforms the victims into a cautionary tale for the rest of us.
And, for the record, no: leaving the windows open a crack doesn’t count. That’s been proven numerous times, so don’t even try it.
Police also urge against leaving the windows down due to other obvious risks. Last week a puppy died after trying to jump out of an open window and choked to death. So, if you must leave your animal in the car for a second, don’t leave their leash on and keep the windows rolled up enough so they can’t slither through.
Connecticut State Police told Stamford Advocate that on an 80-degree day, it takes less than 10 minutes for a car to 100 degrees in the interior. In 30 minutes, the inside goes up to 115 degrees. Within an hour, a car’s interior reaches a full 40 degrees higher the outside temperature.
Downtown police Capt. Diedrich Hohn cautioned:
“Each year we hear more of parents leaving children unattended in vehicles during hot days, which can lead to the death of a child and the arrest of a parent. This is the last thing we want to see in Stamford or anywhere else, so please be cognizant of your children and at no time leave them in a car unattended.”
If you come across a car with a dog locked inside, make sure the animal isn’t excessively panting, vomiting, or losing coordination. If it is, know that those are clear signs of heat stroke.
Same goes for children. If they’re excessively sweating, breathing heavily, and crying – chances are that they need to get out of that hot car FAST.
In just 15 minutes, a child can suffer from a serious life-threatening brain and kidney injury. Which can result in their death. Watch this PSA video about vehicular heatstroke if you haven’t yet. Powerful stuff.
Thankfully, the majority of us understand the consequences of leaving children and pets inside hot cars. However, some don’t. And it absolutely boggles my mind.
So, here’s what you do if you come across a child or animal in distress in a hot car. First, you make an immediate call to authorities. Especially if you can’t contact the car owner right away. If you’re accompanied by someone, make sure one of you stays by the car at all times.
Also, as an aside, check to see if the car is running with the A/C on. Sometimes people do that and if you come across a car like that, you can start calming down.
As for those who do leave the A/C on for their pets or kids while you quickly run into a store, leave a note in an obvious location so you don’t come back to a smashed window.
But, onto the people who don’t even leave the A/C on because they fully believe parking in the shade with the windows rolled down is enough.
So, should the distressed dog or child lose consciousness, you better believe you have good authority to do whatever you can to get them out. However, it should be noted that Connecticut doesn’t have a bill that shields good Samaritans from breaking into cars to save a life.
Yeah, what’s up with that? The 2015 “Hot Car” bill actually FAILED.
But at least there’s a law that penalizes the responsible party.
But, I doubt police would issue you a ticket. Nor would the courts find you liable for damage considering why you caused it.
So, can you believe that it’s 2018 and people are still issuing PSAs like this? Personally, I can’t.