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Don't leave kids in a parked car, especially in this heat

(KOMO file photo)

It's hard to understand how a parent could forget that their child is in the backseat of the car. But sadly, it happens – most often when the driver is stressed, there's a change in routine or the baby in the back falls asleep.

Sometimes parents leave their kids in the car while they run a quick errand. That’s a really bad idea. And when the weather's hot, the result can be tragic. Each year, about 37 children in this country die of heat stroke after being left in a car.

No one should be left in a car in this weather – not kids, not pets.

Consumer Reports reminds parents that even if it's only 70 degrees outside, a car can quickly heat to more than 120 degrees. And leaving the windows cracked open a bit or parking in the shade does not prevent that car from turning into an oven.

Simple rule: Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, not even for a minute. It's extremely dangerous.

Here's the law in Washington:

(RCW 46.61.685)

Leaving children unattended in standing vehicle with motor running—Penalty.

(1) It is unlawful for any person, while operating or in charge of a vehicle, to park or willfully allow such vehicle to stand upon a public highway or in a public place with its motor running, leaving a minor child or children under the age of sixteen years unattended in the vehicle.

(2) Any person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section, the department shall revoke the operator's license of such person.

(RCW 9.91.060)

Leaving children unattended in parked automobile.

Every person having the care and custody, whether temporary or permanent, of minor children under the age of twelve years, who shall leave such children in a parked automobile unattended by an adult while such person enters a tavern or other premises where vinous, spirituous, or malt liquors are dispensed for consumption on the premises shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

More Info: Heat Stroke Death a Risk to Children in Hot Cars

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