What to do if you find a child or animal in a hot car

Central Point, Ore. – A local police department is offering advice in case you come across a child or animal inside a car during a hot day this summer.

The Central Point Police Department said there is no simple answer as to when to get involved, but they offered the following guidelines:

  • Assess the situation by asking yourself: How old is the child?
  • Does the child or animal appear to be in distress?
  • Is the car running with the air conditioner visibly running
  • Are the windows down to enable air flow?
  • Is it clear the parent or owner is not nearby?
  • If you feel the child or animal is in an unsafe situation, call law enforcement immediately.

Police said citizens should be responsible and avoid leaving unattended pets and/or children in a vehicle.

According to CPD, children left unattended in a car must be at least 10 years old. But the safest thing to do is to take your kids inside with you, even if your trip is expected to be short.

If you must leave your pets inside a vehicle, open the windows to allow for sufficient airflow and provide the appropriate amount of food and water, police said.

According to the Oregon Human Society, legislation that would protect good Samaritans from liability for entering a vehicle to remove an unattended child or animal from imminent danger has passed both the Oregon House and Senate. It awaits Governor Kate Brown signature to become law.

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