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New Law Could Save Kids’ Lives During Hot Weather

The sun sets over Los Angeles last September as a heat advisory warned temperatures would climb into triple-digits.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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As the weather heats up, a new California law could save the lives of children this summer.

Assembly Bill 2717, which went into effect on Jan. 1, allows people to break a window on a hot car to save a child's life.

Much like with animals left in hot cars, people can break into a hot car to rescue a child without being charged for property damage or trespassing.

The new law only applies if a person believes a child who is six or younger may be at risk of "suffering, disability, or death" due to being in a hot or cold car without proper ventilation.

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“In the United States, every single year there is an average of 40 children who die from heatstroke after they were left in an unattended vehicle,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau, who authored the bill. “Here in California, for 2018 and 2019, there were six children who died after being left in a hot car — that’s six children too many.”

A similar law was limited to just the rescue of an animal from inside a car.

“These are not typically intentional deaths, but rather happen when parents or guardians make a change in their routine or neglect to properly lock cars and trucks,” said Auto Club Traffic Safety and Community Programs Manager Anita Lorz Villagrana. “The result of these tragedies can forever change families.”

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