SPRING HILL, Kan. — According to KidsAndCars.org, in the U.S., an average of 37 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles.
“A car can heat up to 19 degrees above the ambient temperature outside in as little as 10 minutes,” Safe Kids Kansas State Coordinator, Cherie Sage said. “And rolling down the window a few inches makes almost no difference.”
“The good news is that these are 100 percent predictable tragedies and even more important, they're 100 percent preventable,” KidsandCars.org Director, Amber Rollins said.
KidsandCars.org, Safe Kids Kansas and the Humane Society Legislative Fund of Kansas gathered to discuss a state law that was enacted July 1.
“We all know that people are suing people over everything these days, so they can say, 'Hey, this person was in danger and I got in there to help them the best they could,'” Rollins said.
The law prevents Good Samaritans from being held liable if they rescue a "vulnerable" person or animal trapped in a hot car "in imminent danger of harm."
“This law is about really more than just protecting people from liability,” Rollins said. “It's about empowering people to get involved when somebody's life is at stake.”
There is a tool called Resqme which is a spring loaded hole punch. Push it up against the window, until it breaks.
“Nobody should hesitate to save a child or an animal or anybody who's in a life-threatening situation,” Rollins said. “Minutes can be the difference between death or even severe brain damage for children or animals left in a hot car. We really want people to take action.”
Twenty-one states, including Missouri, have similar laws in place.