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Heat Wave: Responsibility Matters

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It’s a conception in society that common sense would tell a person not to leave a living being in a car which will easily reach 90 degrees in Albuquerque’s summer heat. Since 1998, 529 children have died in hot cars after being unattended. With these deaths, 19 states have issued legislation to deter people from committing this act of stupidity and to avenge children who die in this way. New Mexico is not one of the states in which leaving a pet or child in a hot car is illegal.
Cause of death when locked inside a car unattended is “hyperthermia.” This condition is when the body retains more heat than it can produce. A death of this type cannot be comfortable, nor is it a short demise. Why has action not been taken to make this death a punishable offense? The only regulation there is states that a lack of attendance to one’s child or pet can result in a charge of abuse.
There are the obvious actions which can be taken to protect someone from dying this slow, agonizing death: not leaving a living being in a hot car. There is also the active knowledge of what to do if you see a living being locked into a hot car without an adult/pet owner inside.
• Call authorities; make sure that it is on record what you are seeing in case drastic measures must be taken to save a life.
• Do not leave the vehicle. Maintain a view on the person/animal that is inside the car.
• A side-note would be the suggestion of getting the name and information of the person who has left another being in the car.
• If the situation seems dire, that a life is in jeopardy, take action. Your behavior could be the difference between life and death.
It’s hard to predict what kind of behavior would be shown in this situation; no one plans to be a hero but in can happen to anyone. The moment in which danger is spotted is the moment to take action into one’s own hands. That being said, there is the other side of the spectrum also. If in the past you have been the person who leaves their pet or child in the car, that behavior can be changed before its too late. If you behave ignorantly and leave someone in a car knowing the risks, there’s a good chance that someday you’ll return to your car with a broken window.

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