State Senator Tim Carpenter
(Madison)— Today, Senator Tim Carpenter, (D-Milwaukee), issued the following statement regarding an unfortunate situation that occurred in California this past week where a babysitter is accused of leaving a child in a locked car with the windows up while she ate lunch and ran errands:
“Every year stories like the one in California occur all around the country, sometimes with even graver consequences for people’s children and pets. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind folks to be mindful about how dangerous it can be to leave kids and pets in the car, even for just a few minutes. On a day where the outside air temperature is as low as 70 degrees, the internal temperature of a car can reach 100 degrees within 20 minutes.”
While the babysitter ran her errands, the six year old boy was locked inside the car. After a witness called 911 to report the incident, police were able to open the vehicle and rescue the boy. A reading showed that the internal temperature of the car had reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully the boy was able to receive treatment for heat exhaustion at a nearby hospital and return to school the next day.
“With the predicted extreme temperatures for Milwaukee this weekend, everyone should take this situation very seriously.”
In Wisconsin, a law was passed in 2015 preventing Good Samaritans from being sued for breaking into a hot vehicle in order to rescue a child or pet.
“If you come across a child or animal in a car that is in distress, call 911 before attempting to open the vehicle yourself. It is best to allow the police to handle the emergency, but if you feel that there is immediate danger to the child or pet, first check to see if any of the car doors are unlocked. If necessary, break a window, leaving as little damage to the vehicle as possible. You can still be held accountable if the damage is too severe. However, the most important thing is the safety of the child or pet.”
“Take advantage of the nice weather over the next several months, but please be mindful of the health and safety of children and pets at all times.”