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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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New Law Will Enable Citizens When Kids Are Left in Hot Cars

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It happens nationwide. A parent gets out of the car, forgetting the child in the backseat. Hours later, the child is dead.

Dallas police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old child who was allegedly left in a hot car on a 98 degree afternoon. According to Child Abuse Unit investigators, the child’s parents said they returned home from a family outing with their children and went inside to take a nap. The couple said they thought all children had exited the vehicle, but the child’s father said he later went outside to work on his car and found the 2-year-old strapped in a child safety seat. He took the child inside and called 911 while the mother performed CPR. The little girl was pronounced dead at the hospital later that evening. What could have happened, had somebody seen the little one?

Just last weekend, a Kansas woman was captured on camera in a dramatic rescue of a toddler left in a locked car on a sweltering day. The woman said the windows were rolled up, all the doors were locked, and the child was covered in sweat. It took several attempts with multiple objects before she could crack the window and free the child. The child was taken to the hospital for evaluation and released.

On July 1, Virginia became the most recent state to adopt a law protecting not only children, but the Good Samaritans that step in to help. The law states that “forcible entry” can be used if a person that discovers a child locked in a car has already called 911 and sees no other way to free the child. If you do enter the vehicle by force, you must place a notice on the windshield with your contact information on it, the reason the entry was made, and that the authorities have been notified. You are also required to stay with the minor until the police arrive. As long as the details of the law are fulfilled, you are released from liability for damages done to the car to free the person inside.

Way to go, Virginia! Let’s hope more states following suit!

No matter where you live, if you see a child locked in a hot car, don’t hesitate! Seconds count. Take action; call 911 and get the child out!

To prevent vehicular heat stroke deaths, KidsAndCars.org recommends learning the following safety tips.

  • Back seat – Put something in the back seat so you have to open the door when leaving the vehicle – cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc.
  • Every child should be correctly restrained in the back seat.
  • Stuffed animal – Move it from the car seat to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat.
  • Ask your babysitter or child-care provider to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn’t arrived on time.
  • Focus on driving – Avoid cell phone calls and texting while driving.
  • Every time you park your vehicle open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

1 Comment

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  1. Robert says:
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    With all the warnings today over past 10 years or so about hot cars and deaths to children (and pets) left in hot shut up cars and then expecting it to be called an accident is ludicrous.. These people need to be charged with Murder or Attempted Murder depending if the child lives or dies. I cannot even imagine a parent doing something like this “””:Accidentally””””. What kind of idiot would do this. One news item of a Judge’s son being left in a car and dies—a JUDGE! How stupid is that? A Hospital CEO’s son dies in a hot car! A Hospital CEO–yea–I believe that is an accident. BS and more BS.