Friday, June 17, 2011

No Kids in Cars

The California Vehicle Code says that it is illegal to leave little children alone inside a car where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the health or safety to the child or if the engine is running or the keys are in the ignition.

“15620. (a) A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the following circumstances:

(1) Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child's health or safety.

(2) When the vehicle's engine is running or the vehicle's keys are in the ignition, or both.”

Last year 49 kids died in the United States while left unattended inside cars. Most of those kids were under three years old. On a hot day it can take only a few minutes for kids to die, temperatures can go well above a hundred degrees in only a few minutes.

If you find a little child alone inside a car you must get the door open and the child out right away. Observe the child to see if they are under any distress. If it is not warm and the child is away and okay then you have a few moments to try and find the driver, if not you will have to take action right away. Turn on the overhead lights on your car to draw attention to yourself, notify dispatch of what you have and turn on your siren. Use the air horn, or whoop tones on your siren to get attention. If that does not work quickly or if the child is distress, you may have to break a window. First, check each door handle to see if a door is unlocked. Maybe you can force open a window and reach through to open the door. If you have to break the window, pick one where the glass won’t hit the child, and hit the door very hard with your baton. There are special window breaking tools, use one of those if you have one in your gear bag. You will want your paramedics to respond to check the child once you get the kid to a safe place. Don’t just open the door and leave them in the hot car. Move them to a shady place. Be certain to fully identify anyone who shows up to claim the child and car, cite them or arrest them depending on the laws and the status of the child; that’s what the SGT Says.


Mandy said...

Great post! I am surprised how many people leave their kids and pets in the car.

My husband recently went back into the grocery store and had a page for a gal who left her 3 year old in the car WITH THE KEYS in it! She came out and was very rude. She told my husband "why did you just call the cops and save me the embarrassment?" My husband told her "I am the cops and was trying to save you from planning a funeral" People now a days.....

Bunkermeister said...

Thanks to your husband for perhaps saving a life. That's a good day on the job, even off duty.