What to do if you see a child left in a hot car - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

What to do if you see a child left in a hot car

(Source: MGN) (Source: MGN)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

With the recent cases of hot car deaths across the nation, WSFA 12 News wanted to know what your rights are if you find a child left alone in dangerously hot car. 

Fire medic Case Allen knows just what to do if his men get a call about a child left alone in a hot car.

Allen is an 18-year veteran with the fire department. He says there is so much more going on inside the car than the actual heat.

"The core temperature is 98 degrees and as the heat gets hotter in the car, that can cause major organ damage."

Even if the window is partially open, the potential danger is just as great as with the windows rolled up.

"It's because the heat is still trapped in the vehicle," Allen said. "It may be escaping through a partial opening, but not as nearly as much as it would if all the openings on the windows were down."

According to one national study, since 1998 more than 600 children have died from heatstrokes due to being left in cars, their ages ranged from 5-days-old to 14-years-old.

The number one reason why they were left in the vehicle, according to the study? The caregiver 'forgot about them.'

Allen advises anyone, of course, to call 911 if they witness a child left alone, but don't try to break the window to rescue them because that presents a potential legal problem.

Case Allen has seen a lot of tragic situations in his line of work, but has never worked an emergency involving a child left alone in a vehicle. He hopes it stays that way.

The state of Tennessee just enacted a law that allows bystanders to break into a car if they see a child inside that they believe is in danger.

So far in 2014, 16 children have died while left alone in vehicles.

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