State Police warning
As the commonwealth prepared for a weekend heatwave, the Pennsylvania State Police reminded parents and caregivers to never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle.
According to kidsandcars.org, 21children have died in hot cars in the United States so far this year. Since 1995, there have been 12 child heatstroke deaths in vehicles in Pennsylvania. The inside of a vehicle heats up very quickly, even with the windows are cracked. Studies show a child’s body overheats three to five times faster than an adult body.
Earlier this month, a new law went into effect in Pennsylvania to protect good Samaritans who rescue children in hot cars. The law protects a person from liability related to damaging a car or its contents if they believe a child is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the vehicle. The person must make a reasonable effort to locate the vehicle’s owner, use no more force than is necessary to enter the vehicle, and remain at the scene until emergency responders arrive.
Parents or caregivers who leave a child in a hot car may face serious charges, including Endangering the Welfare of Children.