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Kingman Daily Miner: As temps rise, so do heat deaths

May 17, 2018 GMT

Every week it seems like there is a story about children or a dog that was left in the car while the guardian was running a “quick errand” that ends up in tragedy. However are were some new laws and nuances put into place for those walking by to render aid.

Spearheaded by the Arizona Humane Society, the “Good Samaritan” law passed the Arizona Legislature and allows passerby good Samaritans to rescue a child or pet from a hot car. However, it isn’t as simple as just busting a window and pulling the child or pet to safety. There is a process to protect good Samaritans from any civil liability.

If you see a child or pet in a hot car and believe they are in imminent danger of physical injury or death: Call 911; determine if the vehicle is locked; if unlocked, open a door to enter the vehicle; if locked, you may break the window. Do not use more force than is necessary; and remain with the child or pet until the authorities arrive.

Even on an 80-degree day it’s 109 in 20 minutes inside a car. Even when outside temperatures are as low as 57 degrees, the temperature within a car can climb to 110, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It doesn’t just ride on the shoulders of good Samaritans to save pets and children; guardians should be the first defense.

When in doubt, leave pets at home. If you can’t take them into the store with you because the pavement is too hot for their feet or the store policies don’t allow pets, it isn’t worth taking them in the car at all.

Always take children in with you, because even within 10 minutes the heat could get unbearable for them. No “quick errand” or “it’ll just take a minute” is worth the life of your child or grandchild or younger sibling.

— Kingman Daily Miner