AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 39 kids die every year after being left alone in a hot vehicle.
“Kids being locked in cars is something that we’ve seen on the rise around the country in the last few years,” Cpl. Jeb Hilton, wit the Amarillo Police Department, explained.
The Amarillo Police Department said though people forgetting their kids in cars does not really happen in Amarillo, accidents like being locked out of the car while their kids are inside does.
“People make mistakes. You get out of your car sometimes, your keys are in the car you lock it. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. If you’re the one calling saying, ‘This is what happened,’ we’re not going to look into it any further than the kids safe,” Cpl. Hilton said.
APD said if this situation happens to you try not to panic, instead pick up the phone and call them so they can come over and help.
“You can call 911, you can call the regular dispatch number, and they will send an officer out and if it’s something that this kid is in danger and immediately needs to be taken out, we can break a window and we can get in there,” Cpl. Hilton explained.
If you do happen to come across a car that is not running, with a child or animal inside who is obviously in distress there are a few things you can do to help.
“If you see a child that’s in a car or you see a pet that’s in a car the windows are up, it’s not running, it’s hot outside we want to be the first phone call you make. If you’re standing there and you see people walking by, you might ask them, ‘Do you know who’s car this is? Is this your car,'” Cpl. Hilton said.
If no one responds to the child’s aid or you can see the child is obviously in danger you have the right to act further.
“If you feel this could be a life or death situation, the law will allow you to break a window to save this child, to save this animal,” Cpl. Hilton said.
Regardless if there is a child or pet in the car, you are asked to call before you act so the police are able to respond appropriately.
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