ROCHESTER, Minn. - Many parents probably think not bringing their children out in public is doing everyone a favor. But if you're leaving them in the car for even just a short amount of time, it could actually be doing more harm than good.
After just 10 minutes, the temperature in your car quickly rises above 100 degrees. That can be deadly to anyone stuck inside. A popular saying is 'look before you lock,' so be sure to do just that. Jay Lonien with the Rochester Police Department said while we're still trying to adapt to the ongoing pandemic, leaving children in a hot vehicle in never the answer. "We live in a different world. We need to plan ahead now," explained Lonien. "If we're going to the store, we need to make sure that we bring a mask for ourselves and if we're bringing our kids, they have masks too."
Even if your vehicle can run without the keys in the ignition or you have an older kid in the car with your infant, it's best to just leave them at home if you can. Lonien said if you see a child or pet in danger, call 911. "We would prefer that we get called and we go up there and find out that the car is running and it's cold inside for them," said Lonien. Generally, what I do when I get a call like that is i'll wait around and just have a discussion with the parents and say, 'hey, it's not a good idea.'"
Lonien explained if you leave your child in a hot vehicle, you could potentially get in legal trouble for putting them in danger. If you see children or pets unoccupied in a vehicle that's not running, you can break the window to get them out, then immediately call 911.