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News: NEW CHILD BOARD CREATED IN THE POLITICAL SECTION FOR THE 2016 ELECTION
 
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robl27
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« on: August 14, 2008, 04:55:33 AM »

Is it a crime to leave kids in a heated car? I sure hope it is.

-Rob
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MumInOhio
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 01:04:18 PM »

Is it a crime to leave kids in a heated car? I sure hope it is.

-Rob

Hi Rob and Welcome...It appears it is only in 14 States...not sure which ones they are.

This first link from 2004 for Ohio and the second article published July 30th. 2008.

http://www.lbo.state.oh.us/fiscal/fiscalnotes/125ga/HB0244IN.HTM
 

Preventative measures

·   State Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, and Rep. Fran Amos, R-Waterford, introduced two bills to prohibit a person from leaving a young child, defined as 6 years old or younger, unattended in a vehicle for a period of time that would pose a risk of injury.
 
·   Fourteen states have laws prohibiting leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. Michigan is one of the remaining 36 that lacks such a law.

·   If the bills passes, leaving a child unattended in a car could have a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. If the child were to die, the felony would be punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
 
·   Children’s bodies heat up 3-5 times as fast as adults’ bodies. The temperature of a car left in the sun can go up almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes.

·   At least 36 children have died every year in the U.S. since 1998 as a result of being left in a car unattended.
Source: State Rep. Mark Meadows, adjunct professor Jan Null
 

Bills seek ban on leaving children alone in vehicles

By Marilyn King
The State News
Published: July 30, 2008

State Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, wants to add Michigan to the list of states that prohibit leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

Meadows, along with Rep. Fran Amos, R-Waterford, introduced two bills to prohibit a person from leaving a young child, defined as 6 years old or younger, unattended in a vehicle for a period of time that would pose a risk of injury. The bills have passed the Michigan House of Representatives and have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Ninety-nine percent of parents wouldn’t dream of leaving kids in the car, but there’s that one percent that doesn’t get the message,” Meadows said. “This bill sends the message to that one percent.”

Fourteen states have laws prohibiting leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. Michigan is one of the remaining 36 that lacks such a law.

A Green Oak Township toddler’s death, which occurred less than two weeks ago, marked the first death from heat stroke in Michigan this summer and the sixth in the state since 1998.

If the bills pass, leaving a child unattended in a car could have a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. If the child were to die, the felony would be punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Because of the tight state budget, the bills, which were introduced before the Green Oak Township incident, hadn’t been moving along until recently, Meadows said.

Lansing police Lt. Noel Garcia said that the current retributions for leaving a child unattended in a car vary from case to case.

“It could begin with child neglect charges and after investigations could be bumped up to manslaughter or murder depending on the circumstances,” Garcia said. “We don’t have a statute that says if you leave your child in a car, that’s what you’re charged with.”

Half of the cases involving children left in cars are a result of forgetful parents, said Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Francisco State University who has conducted several studies on the dangers of leaving children unattended in the car.

“Parents get out of the car and forget the child is back there,” Null said. “In those cases, parents are distracted by a cell phone, work, or a change in routine.”

Null said 30 percent of cases involve children playing in cars who are overcome by heat. Another 20 percent of cases involve children being intentionally left in cars by themselves, he said.

“We need to teach children that a car is not a play area,” Null said.
“Parents make an incredibly bad choice with tragic consequences.”

Children’s bodies heat up 3-5 times as fast as adults’ bodies do, Null said, and the temperature of a car left in the sun can go up almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes.

Finding alternative methods of running errands can help solve the problem of endangering children in the car, said Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kidsandcars.org.

“There are ways to get around it,” Fennell said. “There are drive-thrus, you can call ahead, pay at the pump, have people bring items out to you or have a friend watch the kids.”

The biggest misunderstanding about the issue is believing it only happens to “bad” parents, Fennell said.

“People need to understand that this can happen to anyone,” she said. “It has happened to even the best of parents.”

At least 36 children have died every year in the U.S. since 1998 as a result of leaving them in a car unattended, Null said.
 
While these cases were reported and charges were made, Null said there have been several that were never brought to the attention of authorities.
Whether or not the passage of the bills would have prevented the Green Oak Township toddler’s death is difficult to say, Meadows said.

“There are people who oppose the bill and say we don’t really need it because it’s been handled in the past by bringing child neglect charges against an individual,” Meadows said. “Obviously, it hasn’t really worked.”

Published on Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More info at this link

http://www.kidsandcars.org/
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