Look Before You Lock: Don’t Leave Kids and Pets in a Parked Car

Community, Special Victims

MCAO’s Vehicular Heatstroke campaign has transitioned from a mobile billboard to mobile devices. On June 1st, the campaign moved to an all-digital campaign that is reaching County residents on their computers and smart phones. This digital component is a new effort by the campaign to reach even more people in Maricopa County.

Several digital ads will be used for the remaining three months of the campaign, each chosen to be attention-getting for those using mobile devices. The digital ads can be seen by anyone with a connection to the internet, unlike the mobile billboard that can only been seen by those on the roadways.

The change in marketing is designed to help the Office reach its goal of keeping the number of kids and pets left in hot cars this summer at zero.

MCAO has already seen a good amount of participation with its social media push, getting local kids, teens and pets to make small videos reminding viewers of the slogan and hashtag for the campaign, #DontLeaveMeBehind.

Leaving a child or pet in a vehicle is potentially fatal and, in some circumstances, a criminal offense.  During our hot summer months a vehicle’s interior can heat up 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Children are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke in hot cars because their body temperature can rise up to five times faster than adults.

If you ever see a child or pet in distress because they are unattended in a vehicle you should call 911 immediately. A law recently signed by Governor Doug Ducey provides protections for those who may need to take action to rescue a child or an animal who has been left alone in a parked car.

Commonly referred to as a “Good Samaritan” law, HB 2494 provides that an individual who enters an unattended motor vehicle to remove a child or domestic animal would be protected from civil liability if a good faith belief exists that the child or pet is in imminent danger of injury or death. The legislation requires the person to notify law enforcement or emergency medical personnel before entering the vehicle and to stay with the child or pet until authorities arrive. 

For more information on the Vehicular Heatstroke Campaign, you can visit our Safe Kids AZ website, SafeKidsAZ.org/vehicular-heatstroke. The website is filled with information, tips and videos to help spread this important safety message.