Recently there have been a series of news reports of people leaving their kids or pets in hot vehicles during the summer. Such incidents are nothing new since they occur almost every year.
The term is known as “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” regardless of the child’s age. The term also applies to pets left in vehicles.
The incident usually goes like this: the parent (or owner in the case of a pet) is running an errand and goes into a store or some other place of business, leaving the child or pet in the vehicle without the air running or the windows rolled down, since the vehicle’s engine has been turned off. The parent or owner, thinking his or her business will only take a few minutes (e.g. going into a store to pick up an item or two), believes the child or pet will be okay. But the next thing you know, they are gone for a lengthy period (e.g. twenty minutes, thirty minutes). Meanwhile, the temperature rises in the vehicle, and the child or pet becomes overheated, usually prompting the intervention of passersby and first responders. In some cases, the incident results in tragedy. Regardless of whether or not tragedy is the result, the parent or owner winds up in jail.
The reasons for the negligent individual’s actions are not wanting to take their child into whatever establishment they are visiting, or, in the case of pets, not having that option. Then the adult (thinking he or she will be for just a few minutes) gets tied up for a variety of reasons, ranging from busy checkout lines, to locating the item they need to purchase, to engaging in a lengthy conservation with someone, to simply forgetting that they left their kid or pet in a hot car. And in some cases, the adult did it on purpose.
At any rate, vehicles can heat up rather quickly when on mild temperature days.
There appear to have been a few cases of children or pets left in a vehicle during a cold winter day, in which the child or pet either froze to death or was in danger of freezing to death. Such incidents prove that leaving a child or pet in a vehicle can be dangerous at any time throughout the year.
Aside from rising or dropping temperatures, a child or pet left in a vehicle is also in danger of being abducted, whether the perpetrator is a pedophile or car thief.
So in conclusion, parents and pet owners should take note of these incidents, and in doing so, will prevent potential tragedies.