Article at a Glance
• New bill will make it against the law to leave a child alone in the car.
• Children left in the car must be supervised at all times by someone at least 9 years of age or older.
• Leaving your child alone in a car on a hot day for even a few minutes can cause heat stroke.
Utah Senate Bill 124, which makes it a class C misdemeanor to leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, passed both houses in March and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Gary R. Herbert. According to the law, children left in a car must be supervised at all times by someone at least 9 years of age or older and cannot be exposed to the dangers of:
• hyperthermia (heat stroke),
• hypothermia, or
Although parents would never purposefully expose their children to danger, leaving your infant in the car on a hot day for even a few minutes is enough to cause heat stroke.
Always take your children in from the car before bringing in groceries or other items. One way to help remember is to put a teddy bear in the front seat of your car. When you take your child out of his car seat, put the teddy bear in his spot. The next time you go to put your son in his safety seat, move the teddy bear back to the front. This will help you establish a habit that will always remind you — kids out first.
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