July 4, 2014
Child Dying In A Locked Hot Car? New Law Allows Strangers To Break A Window To Rescue A Kid

If you see a child dying in a locked car, a new law in Tennessee will allow strangers to break a window in order the kid from death by a heat stroke.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, Justin Ross Harris has become the most infamous case of a child in a locked car dying from the heat. Police say Harris searched for information about how long it takes for an animal to die in a hot car during the summer. The man is in jail without bond, and thus he missed Cooper's funeral, but he was able to make a call from jail where he sounded quite upset. Harris' wife is also standing by her husband, saying that there is no he purposefully murdered their son, and it turns out even the mother googled child deaths in hots cars before the incident occurred. But then police recently revealed that Harris was sexting multiple women during the time frame his son was dying in the hot car.

On July 1, 2014 the new Tennessee law, Public Chapter No. 788, gives the bystander the ability to force open a vehicle based upon these guidelines. The public is advised to first try and open the doors first, and they should also call 911 for help before attempting to break into the vehicle. If the driver of the vehicle does not return, the bystander is allowed to break a window or use a crowbar to pry open one of the doors in order to the child in the locked car. But once the child is rescued, the bystander is required to wait until the driver and/or emergency crews arrive on the scene. If the child needs medical attention, it's required to leave "a notice on the vehicle's windshield with proper contact information, the reason for entry, the location of the child, and that authorities have been notified."

The reason this law was passed is because death by heatstroke is the second highest cause of death for children under the age of 14. Being left in a hot car is considered a large contributing factor and even if the weather is 60 degrees outside a child could be close to death in under 20 minutes if locked inside a car. If it's 80 degrees outside a child may die in only 10 minutes even if the car is parked in the shade.

Although many people assume that it's hard to forget a child in a locked car, Dr. Mark Baker at Children's of Alabama says it happens fairly often:

"Parents can get distracted very easily. Especially when they have a lot of things too do and they are out of a normal routine. Remind yourself or get in the habit by look before lock. You look in the back seat. You look in the front seat before locking the car."
Child safety advocates suggest putting something near you child so you won't forget. Suggestions include purses, briefcases, cell phones, and - assuming you are very forgetful - even one of your shoes.

Do you think the entire United States should adopt a law that allows strangers to forcibly enter a locked car based upon a "good-faith belief" that a child is in danger?