Commonwealth Journal

Local News

June 18, 2014

Authorities: Don’t leave kids, pets alone in car in hot weather

Somerset —

Somerset Police and Kentucky State Police are reminding people not to leave children and pets alone in hot cars, especially while summer temperatures are high.
“It may seem like common sense, but every year law enforcement agencies answer calls about unattended children in vehicles,” KSP officials said in a release. At least nine of those cases have turned deadly this year in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council.
 "A child's body heats up three to five times faster than that of an adult," said KSP Sgt. Michael Webb. "The temperature inside a car can rise 19 degrees in 10 minutes. Together, this can be deadly in a very short period of time."
 Bryan Puckett died after his babysitter left him in a hot car in July 1999 when he was 11 months old. Kentucky passed "Bryan's Law" in his honor. The law makes a person liable for second-degree manslaughter or first-degree wanton endangerment if they risk a child under eight’s life by leaving them unattended in a motor vehicle.
 “It is inexcusable to leave a child unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time for any reason,” SPD Capt. Shannon Smith said, adding that it would not be uncommon to receive two calls a month about pets and children left in hot vehicles.
Kentucky's last reported death from a child being left in a car was during 2012 in Louisville. The NSC reports that 44 children died last year from vehicular heatstroke in the U.S.
 Webb offers the following safety tips: 
• Never leave a child in an unattended car, even with the windows down.
• Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies.
• Always lock your car. If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.  

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