Car heat can be deadly as an average of 38 children die yearly

MEDFORD, Ore. — Temperatures in the first week of June are expected to rise into the 90s, and it can be deadly for children or pets to be left alone in vehicles.

According to data from advocacy group Kids and Car Safety, on average, 38 children die each year from heatstroke inside a vehicle.

Medford Police Lt. Geoff Kirkpatrick says when temperatures are around 90 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to 124 degrees in just 30 minutes.

If you do see a child or pet locked in a car alone and struggling to breathe, Lt. Kirkpatrick advises people to take a moment to assess the situation and think as you make your decisions.

Call law enforcement, search for the owner, and check if the car is locked.

“The first thing that we always really want to stress is to try to think through those situations without emotion,” said Lt. Kirkpatrick. “It’s very difficult to do when you see a child or pet in a car and you automatically believe that they’re in stress. And we want people to kind of work through those things in a reasonable fashion, but always erring on the side of caution at the same time.”

There are Oregon laws that provide allowances to people who decide they need to enter a vehicle to provide aid.

As long as it is reasonable, this can involve breaking a car window if necessary.

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Sean Walters earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Emerging Media and Digital Arts from Southern Oregon University. As a result of an accelerated academic program, he graduated in just three years. He was born in Antioch, California, then grew up in Southern Oregon. Sean loves to travel, play guitar and study filmmaking and photography.
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