Wisconsin summer safety: How to avoid hot car deaths
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The summer heat is finally shining on the Midwest and many locals are already starting to pull out their flip-flops, but experts want to remind the public that some 'fun in the sun' can quickly turn deadly.
Since 1998, at least 943 children have died of pediatric vehicular heat stroke- eight of them were in Wisconsin.
According to the Kids and Car Safety organization, so far, at least six kids have already died this year.
"These vehicles essentially get turned into...just like an oven," said Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski.
Lipski said time is of the essence in these circumstances.
Experts say a hot car can turn deadly in as little as 10 minutes.
"It doesn't have to be a 100-degree day for a child to die from heat stroke inside of a vehicle," said Amber Rollins, the director of Kids & Car Safety.
Rollins told CBS 58 News that minors are often forgotten or accidentally left behind in hot cars. Dogs, however, are more likely to be left unattended on purpose.
"Leaving your dog in the car, cracking the windows is not safe," she said. "Much like children, dogs do not regulate their body temperature well."
Wisconsin is actually one of 25 states with some sort of hot car law in place. Wisconsin's "Good Samaritan Law" protects those who break a car window and manage to rescue a vulnerable person or pet.
The good Samaritan, though, has to abide by a few requirements:
"Check if the doors are locked. If the doors are locked, attempt to find the person responsible for the child or the pet," said Lipski. "If you cannot locate them, contact law enforcement and you can attempt to gain entry...break one of the windows."
He said to make sure to break the one that's far away from the child or pet.
Experts also suggest making it a habit to "look before you lock." Make sure to check the back seat every time you leave the vehicle. To make it easier, they advise leaving an item, like your phone or purse, which you'll likely reach for because you'll need it throughout the day.
In addition, keeping a stuffed animal in the passenger seat next to you can also serve as a visual reminder that your child is still with you.