You’ve heard the headlines, leaving your child or pet in a hot car is deadly. On average, there are 37 deaths per year. Every ten to twenty minutes, the cars temperature rises twenty degrees. We decided to check it out for ourselves.
"That 20 minute drive, she fell asleep within the first few minutes. That’s the moment that changed my life and our families forever, is when I found Peyton in the backseat.”
Baby Peyton was left asleep in a hot car and died while her father reggie stopped at his office. But we continue to see parents put their child at risk each and every day.
"Don’t think it cant happen to you. I didn’t think it could happen to me, and it did."
Senator Vin Gopal of Monmouth County hopes to see new legislation that can help prevent future tragedies like Baby Peyton.
"It’s a form of a Good Samaritan law. It's something that other states have done for their constituents, where if there is a dog and theyre dehydrated and suffering, that you can break into the car and get them help. They would not face any criminal prosecution."
We spoke to a New Jersey resident who saved a life, right here in this Freehold Township parking lot.
"I had come out and noticed the car I was parked next to was still there, I go into my car and I hear a screaming child - there is a baby had to be at least a year old maybe younger, screaming at the top of his lungs sweating…. So me being a child lover I go up to the window to calm the baby down.. "
Carli would not be protected if she had broken into the vehicle, so instead she left it to law enforcement to rescue the child.
"I called the local police department they responded within three minutes. I know the officer did say it was child endangerment and he was going to make sure to take action."
For busy parents with an overworked mind, it may seem easier to leave your children and pets in the car, but there are ways of avoiding this all together.
There are so many alternatives to prevent a tragedy like this from happening. A poll suggested things like leaving a personal item in the backseat would help remind a parent that their child is in the car. Or travel with someone so they stay with the baby. Nowadays, there are also grocery stores with curbside-pick up. Banks and food stores have drive-thru options as well.
We wanted to get a sense of how hot this car gets, so we put this thermometer in our news van. In just one hour, the temperature surged to 128 degrees.
Kars4Kids told us that "it's at 104 degrees that a child’s organ starts shutting down. So, on a gorgeous summer day like today, the weather can be hot enough to kill a child."
They also told us not to let the temperature outside fool you.
"It doesn't have to be all that hot outside, there was a case where it was in the 60s outside and a child still died of heat."
If people were thinking about the consequences, they would probably never put their child at risk.
Senator Gopal adds that, "hopefully it doesn’t happen, but if it does happen, if someone is forgetful, you can break into the car and get them help and they wont face any criminal prosecution."
Currently 19 states have good samaritan laws protecting people who break into a car save a child. 6 states have pending laws and if Senator Gopal’s proposal passes, New Jersey may be the next.
For the full story that aired on television, visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc1JdGN2Vc8&t=270s
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