BCSO and Piedmont share the dangers of leaving kids, pets in a hot car

“Even on a 80 degree day a car can get to dangerously high levels within the first five minutes."

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— It’s officially summer, and temperatures are reaching the 100 degree mark. With it being that hot outside, a parked car’s inside temperature can soar. 

Dr. Gary Godlewski, Emergency Room Attending at Piedmont Macon North, says that’s why you should never leave a child or a pet behind in a parked car.

“Even on a 80 degree day a car can get to dangerously high levels within the first five minutes. A baby who doesn’t have as much protection can succumb very quickly,” he explained.

Major Brad Wolfe with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, says it has been several years since the county has seen a child die from being left in a hot car. 

He says if you bring your child or pet to wherever you’re going, make sure they get out of the car with you.

“Even a minute or two is too long to leave them in the car in these conditions. Even if the windows are cracked, or even if the car is running with the air conditioner on,” he said. “It’s just too hot and too enclosed of an environment.”

Major Wolfe says leaving a pet or a child in a hot car could mean criminal charges. He says you could face animal cruelty charges leaving a pet in a hot car. If it’s a situation where a child is left in the car, the charges are even more serious.

“It would depend on the circumstances and what happened and what condition the child was in,” he explained. “But it could be up to as far as murder, or reckless conduct that lead to a murder.” 

Dr. Godlewski says it’s not just triple digit temperatures where hot car deaths or injuries could happen. He says it’s also possible with temperatures in the 60’s or 70’s.

“Don’t even make it a habit to do even the smallest errand with a child in the car,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Office says if you happen to see a child or a pet locked in a hot car, call 911 immediately.

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