Leaving Your Kid in the Car: How Dangerous is it? Can Turning on the Air Conditioning Make A Difference?
A two-year-old girl died when she was left in the car for hours with temperature 90 degrees on top, on Tuesday. The father has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. Just a day later, another two-year-old was hospitalized with serious condition when her grandmother left her in the car under a 90-degree temperature. She's currently under investigation.
Reports on children left in the car always has resulted in tragedy and it usually happens every summer. Parents get distracted, the brain would sometimes go on autopilot and end up having parents or care takers leave children in a hot car. Experts and public safety officials constantly urge parents and caregivers to never leave kids in the car reiterating, "because the consequences can be deadly," said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw in DentonRC.com.
Some parents would like to play it safe when caught. Saying they had to run errands so they left the kids in the car and reason out that the air conditioning is on. For law enforcement and child welfare advocates, it's still a bad idea to leave kids in the car alone even with the air conditioning on. Another danger of leaving a child alone in the car is that it could be fatal as the child may accidentaly put the car in gear or turn off the air conditioning.
There's no definite statute dealing with parents or caregivers when they leave a child unattended in vehicles. For instance, it will be the officer's perogative to charge an offender depending on their act, such as unlawful conduct toward a child. Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said his deputies might issue a warning or press a criminal charge depending on specific circumstances.
For instance, when a parent steps out of a vehicle on the verge of leaving a kid, they can issue a warning. But for anyone who has abandoned a child in their car, even for a short time, is a different matter. This already entitles officers to press charges.
Advocates say it's important for parents to build good habits to avoid such deadly mistakes. It may seem to be harmless to run errands leaving a child in a car but the consequences of such instance can be detrimental to both parent and child. In majority of cases, parents are distracted, leaving kids in the car said Michelle Dhunjishah, director of the Children's Law Center in South Carolina. She added that even when a vehicle is air conditioned, it's crucial to be vigilant and concerned citizens should get involved, as per Miami Herald.