Hot temperatures can lead to health hazards for anyone. However, leaving a child alone in a hot car is detrimental for their health. The heat can cause a kids’ organs to fail, and that could potentially result in death. Lieutenant Jeremy Halsey with Princeton Police Department said it does not take long for a car to become hazardous to a child’s health.
“If it’s 80 or 90 degrees outside and you left your child in the car, even with the windows down, the internal temperature of the car could rise significantly. You can go from 80 to 90 degrees outside to the internal temperature of the car being between 120 and 130 degrees in a matter of 10 to 20 minutes,” Halsey said.
Lieutenant Halsey said this happens more often than people realize. Princeton Fire Department has responded to many calls in regard to rescuing a kid from the heat. Firefighter Nathan Hensley said the fire department already responded to five calls about a child being left in a car so far this year.
“It’s definitely unfortunate. It’s not fair to the child at all. I hate to go out and be involved in any case because normally when we’re called it’s unfortunately an emergency,” Hensley said.
Law enforcement will also become involved if the child’s life is in danger. Lieutenant Halsey said it could come back on the parent or guardian legally for doing this to a minor.
“If something does happen to the child, they have to go to the hospital, or if the child actually passes away from such an event, you can actually look at being charged with child neglect resulting in injury or death,” Lieutenant Halsey said.
Remembering to check the back seat when going out anywhere will help prevent this from happening. Lieutenant Halsey said to call 911 if you see a child alone in a hot car to make sure the child is okay.