Dangers of Leaving Children Unattended in Hot Cars

Sweltering summer heat and dangerous humidity levels are what many people are dealing with across the Delmarva Peninsula. Officers with the Ocean Pines Police Department believe as temperatures climb so does the need to remind Ocean Pines residents that leaving their children and pets unattended in a hot car (for even a short amount of time) can be deadly.

That was the message Tuesday evening during an Ocean Pines National Night Out demonstration in the blazing hot parking lot at White Horse Park on Aug. 7.

During the hot car demonstration, Pfc. Jennifer DeGiovanni with the Ocean Pines Police Department rolled up each window, turned off the vehicle and watched as the inside air soared to 123 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 10 minutes.

“It is an excellent tool to visually educate the public,” said Pfc. DeGiovanni. “Awareness and behavior modification among caregivers are key to preventing the majority of these tragic deaths. The outdoor stand-up temperature display is an excellent tool to create awareness of how a vehicle can quickly heat up in the sun to where the inside temperatures would kill a child.”

According to the National Safety Council, 42 children died in 2017 after being left alone in hot cars.

Pfc. DeGiovanni said it is unimaginable for most to fathom ever leaving unattended kids in hot vehicles but unfortunately all too often it happens. “Fathers, mothers and caretakers who have left the child or children in a car don’t mean to, but get distracted by their busy lives and just simply forget.”

Ocean Pines Police suggest parents and caregivers “look before you lock.” They also suggest putting something in the back seat next to the child or pet that you would need: a cell phone, purse, lunch bag, work bag or employee ID.

“My No. 1 tip is to never leave a child in the car,” said Pfc. DeGiovanni.

More than 450 people were drawn to Ocean Pines’ inaugural National Night Out event. Participants enjoyed free food, entertainment and safety demonstrations by local, county, and state police agencies.

National Night Out, a national community-driven initiative, involves more than 38 million people in 16,000 communities from all states, according to National Association of Town Watch, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing communities through an established network of law enforcement agencies, neighborhood watch groups, civic groups, state and regional crime prevention associations and volunteers across the nation.

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