SAVANNAH, GA (June 7, 2018) – Children are out of school and temperatures are rising, prompting the Savannah Police Department to remind the community not to leave children in cars unattended.
Children should never be left in a vehicle unattended, but warmer weather poses an even greater risk of injury or death caused by heatstroke. Although it may appear cool outside, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Last year between June 1 and September 1, Savannah police officers responded to 36 incidents where children were either left in a vehicle unattended or accidentally locked in a vehicle. Nationally, an average of 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles, according to KidsandCars.org.
The Savannah Police Department urges parents and caretakers to always check the backseat of their vehicle before walking away. Parents should also teach their children to never play in a vehicle unattended. The vehicle may lock, causing the child to be stuck without knowing how to unlock the vehicle.
Leaving children and pets in a vehicle can result in fines or arrest. We encourage anyone who sees this offense to alert police immediately.
Heat-related deaths of children associated with being left in the car are preventable. SPD offers the following safety tips:
- Never leave a child in an unattended car, even if the windows are down.
- If you see a child left in the car, call 911.
- Make a habit to scan the backseat of your vehicle before walking away.
- Always lock your car, and let your children know that they should not go or play in a car without an adult.