It is never good news to hear about a young child or pet being left in a hot car. Many cities and states are enacting new laws that protect Good Samaritans if they have smashed in a window on a car to save a child or pet locked in a hot car. In Fairfield, the police department has developed a new hot car safety program, titled “If You Love ‘Em, Don’t Leave ‘Em.”
At the end of June, the Fairfield Police Department held an informal press conference to announce that they would be posting newly designed awareness signs around town to try to alleviate the dangers of leaving your children and pets unattended in a hot vehicle. The signs read “Heat Kills in Parked Vehicles” and also contains the number for the FPD at the bottom. The FPD also announced they would be visiting local businesses throughout the summer to distribute the signs. They currently are available in a decal and a large metal style for outdoor use. It was stated that car magnets were also in the works.
Although Connecticut historically has not had many instances of unattended children dying in a hot car, last year the issue made national headlines due to 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz, who died while left unattended. Nationally roughly 40 children per year die due to heat in cars and more than half of these are due to negligence by a caregiver. It is never a good idea to leave a child or pet unattended, even for a moment. A vehicle can heat up by almost 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes, even if the window is cracked. This is especially dangerous for children, whose bodies heat up 3-5 times faster than adults.
In the state of Connecticut leaving a child unattended in a car is considered a Class A misdemeanor if any parent or guardian leaves a child under the age of 12 unattended for a period of time that is deemed to be a substantial risk to the child’s health. This carries a possible punishment of up to 1 year in prison and up to a $2,000 fine.
We here at Carter Mario wish you all a safe and happy summer. If you do notice a child or pet in danger, please notify the authorities immediately. It may wind up saving a life.