Chief Seth C. DiSanto
222 Main St.
Newport VT 05855
Monday, June 19, 2017
News Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Newport Police Remind Families and Caregivers about the Dangers of Leaving Children and Pets in Hot Cars
NEWPORT — As hot weather starts to become the norm, Chief Seth C. DiSanto wishes to remind families and caregivers of children to never leave a child, pet or anyone else in a hot car.
According to the non-profit Kidsandcars.org, an average of 37 children die of heat stroke every year after being left alone in hot cars across the U.S. These are completely preventable tragedies. Each year, the Newport Police Department responds to calls after children or pets are accidentally left in a car or when a passerby calls police after seeing a child or pet in a vehicle.
“It is important to remember that infants, children and pets are vulnerable because they are both unable to get themselves out of a car and more susceptible to the dangerous heat,” Chief DiSanto said. “It only takes a few minutes for the inside of a vehicle to heat up to deadly temperatures, even when it is not nearly as hot outside.”
Officials offer the following facts about children and hot cars:
- Children suffer from the effects of heat faster than adults
- Nearly 90 percent of children killed in hot cars are under age 3
- Cracking windows open does not make a difference
The outside temperature does not always matter. According to Kidsandcars.org, children have died in cars with outside temperatures as low as 60 degrees.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips:
- Always check the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away.
- Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
- If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.
If you see a child left in a car, take action immediately. Do not wait for the driver to return or assume that they will be back soon. If the child appears to be in distress, get them out of the car immediately and dial 911.
Pets should also not be left alone in hot cars. According to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pets suffer needlessly when left in hot cars, even on moderately warm days. Such actions can result not only in harm to your pet but also fines and possible prison time for pet owners who leave their pets in a hot vehicle.