The deadly dangers of hot cars

Eight children have died in hot cars this summer

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With summer here, safety experts are reminding and warning parents and care takers to never leave a child in a hot car.

So far this year, eight children have already died from being left alone in a car. On average, 53% of children who have died in hot cars, had been “forgotten” by their caretaker. 17% of children have been left inside intentionally, mainly by parents who didn’t think there was a risk.

“People are busy, and they’re forgetful. Now I’m forgetful, now especially since I’m pregnant, but I don’t think I’d be able to forget my child in a hot car,” said Maizah Capetillo of West Springfield.

Now let’s say that you are walking through a parking lot, and you do spot a child trapped inside of a hot car. There are several things that you can do to take control of that situation and make sure that the baby’s safe.

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News you should call 9-1-1 immediately and stay by the car.  Use what you can to create shade for the baby by the window.  Stay on the line with the 9-1-1 operator detailing everything you are doing.

If the child appears to be in immediate danger, distressed, or unresponsive, inform the 9-1-1 operator you are going to break a window to get the baby out.  Use a hard object to break the window furthest away from the baby near the door lock.

“I don’t really think there’s a choice. You just break the window if it’s that hot out. I have 4 dogs, I don’t have a kid, but if the car’s not running with the AC on, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do,” said Robert Cullen from Chicopee.

The state’s “Good Samaritans Law” would protect you from prosecution if you break into a car to save a child. “No person who, in good faith… who attempts to provide … assistance for a victim.. shall be liable in a civil suit for damages.” 86% of hot-car deaths involve children 3-years-old or younger

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