hot carsSummer is just around the corner and temperatures are heating up. It is not uncommon to hear stories of parents leaving infants or children in the car while they run a quick errand. Often those decisions can be fatal. Children should never be left alone in hot cars no matter how short of a time frame.

The following are statistics from SafeCar.gov for parents and caregivers to keep in mind what they are risking by leaving children in hot cars:

  • In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.
  • With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.
  • A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.
  • Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!
  • A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.

The consequences that can occur when a child is left in a hot car include:

  • The heat-related death of a child.
  • Misdemeanor with fines as high as $500.00 — and even imprisonment — in some states
  • In some state if bodily harm results from leaving kids alone in a hot car, it is a felony.
  • The age of children who can be left unattended in a vehicle varies from state to state, as does the duration of time a child can be left alone in a car.

We all live busy lifestyles these days but it is crucial to take the time and pay attention to where your children are at all times. “Forgetting” that they are in the car or leaving them in hot cars to tend to your personal needs is not safe. The same goes for pets; never leave a pet alone in a hot car.

If you come across a vehicle with a very young child inside that is unattended by a parent, call local authorities immediately.