Police Say No Pets Or Children Should Be Left In Hot Cars — Especially In Extreme Heat

Jim Gudas
July 19, 2019 - 4:41 pm
A thermometer placed in a car parked in the sun outside the hospital in the Streeterville neighborhood quickly went to 119 degrees - that was 20 degrees hotter than the air temperature at the time.   

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois State Police say passersby should take drastic action if necessary during this heat wave should they discover a child or pet alone in a parked vehicle that is locked. 

You might be tempted to look for the child’s parent or the pet’s owner before doing anything, but Mindy Carroll of the Illinois State Police advises you should immediately call 911.

And if the child or pet is in distress because of rising temperatures inside the vehicle, Carroll said you should take measures into your own hands.

"Break the window, at the end of the day you are justified in saying that you were trying to save the child or the pet," Carrol said. 

She said to try and get the child or the pet away from the window before breaking it, and try to have a witness with you to verify you were acting to save the child or pet.

Health experts say temperatures in parked vehicles with windows and doors closed in weather like this can reach dangerous levels in minutes.