Pa. lawmaker and EMS officials warn of deadly consequences of leaving children in hot cars

CARLISLE, Pa. -- It can happen to anyone: You run into a store and forget your child is in the back seat, or think you won't take too long.

But in a matter of minutes, with the hot temperatures, Cumberland Goodwill EMS officials said that scenario can turn deadly.

Nathan Harig, the assistant chief for Cumberland Goodwill EMS, said, "There's this greenhouse effect that takes place in the car because of the windows. Even if you have them cracked, then it will just super heat it."

State Rep. Karen Boback (R -117th District) proposed a bill that would allow people to break into a car to save a child if they have reasons to believe the child is in danger. That person would not face a civil lawsuit, which can happen now.

Harig said, "People can't be worried about well am I going to get in trouble? Are they going to sue me?"

Ashleigh Corby, from Carlisle, said, "Any situation, there's always a lot of different things to the equation, but I think that if you're going to save a kid's life, that's the most important part."

The bill also states a person must try to contact law enforcement before he or she tries to break into the car.

Denise Bishop, from Christiansburg, Va., said, "I think that would be a good law, and it would ease people's minds if they did need to do something like that."

EMS officials said kids can also get locked in hot cars in other ways.

Harig said, "The kid was out, he's playing hide and seek, or he's using the car as a fort, and accidentally locks him in there and goes unconscious because of the heat."

Either way, parents said it's always a good idea to check the back seat and bring your children with you, even if you think you're making a quick stop.

Corby said, "In an instant something bad can happen, and you know you mine as well just take them with you and make sure they're OK first and foremost."

The bill is still in the House Judiciary Committee, and it is unclear when lawmakers plan on voting on it.