New law goes into effect to help save the lives of children trapped in hot cars

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new Tennessee law that went into effect Tuesday will allow anyone who witnesses a child locked inside a hot car to break out the window and get the child to safety.

To show just how fast your car can heat up we decided to track the heat ourselves. We placed a thermometer in the back seat of a car at 4:00 pm. Tuesday afternoon. When we put the thermometer in the car, it read 91 degrees.

After 90 minutes in the back seat, the temperature rose to 108 degrees.

Authorities say the inside of a car can heat up and become deadly for a child in as little as 20 minutes.

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare forgetting your child in the backseat. Kristie Cavaliero and her husband never imagined it could happen to them but it did one morning when they changed their routine.

“In May of 2011, we lost our one year old daughter Sophia Ray when her father forgot to drop her off at day care one morning,” said Cavaliero.

Three hours had passed when they realized the mistake.

“It’s literally a perpetual nightmare, because you live everyday knowing that one of your children is missing at the dinner table,” said Cavaliero.

Cavaliero is now involved with KidsandCars.org a nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in or around cars. The organization is in support of Tennessee’s new law allowing people to break into a car to rescue a trapped child.

“In the past people have been hesitant to take action when they do see a child left unattended in a car,” said Cavaliero.

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