Did you know that according to www.KidsandCars.org, a nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in or around motor vehicles, “On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles?”
Beverly Anderson, executive director for Ebenezer Child Care Centers says, “Even the best parents and caregivers can be faulted for doing this. They think that that there is no harm in leaving a child in a car for just a moment. They intend to quickly run into a store to drop something off but then someone they know greets them and starts talking to them, and the next thing you know minutes have passed and their car is overheating.”
The general rule of thumb should be that you NEVER under any circumstances leave a child unattended in a car regardless of the time of year. Terrible accidents due to sweltering temperatures, locking parents out of a car, shifting gears and causing a crash or getting their limbs and even necks caught while playing with the windows can and do happen in a blink of an eye when children are left unattended in cars.
In Wisconsin, any injury a child receives in an unattended car can be classified as child neglect which is a Class A misdemeanor or if death is a consequence, a Class D Felony with a penalty fine of up to $100,000, or imprisonment of up to 25 years, or both.
So, while some parents may feel it is okay to leave a child alone in a car for a very short time to run a quick errand, the thing to remember is that it simply is not. If something happens to a child in your care, you will be held accountable.