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Dover Police Warn Citizens About Leaving Children and Pets in Vehicles

As the temperatures continue to rise and schools let out for the summer in Dover, people are taking their children and pets on trips more often.  With that comes an increase in calls to the department for children and pets left in vehicles.  On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles in the United States.  So far in 2014, 9 heat related deaths have been reported as a result of leaving children in vehicles with 44 being reported in all of 2013.  A vehicle’s inside temperature can reach 100 degrees on a 75 degree day in just ten minutes and can cause heat stroke in children and in animals.  Animal cruelty and Endangering the Welfare of A Child are both Class A misdemeanors in the State of Delaware, punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to a year of incarceration.  Penalties can increase to a Class G or E felony for child endangerment based on the severity of the child’s injuries or the death of a child.  In addition, it is best to keep vehicle doors locked to prevent children from hiding in them while playing outdoors.  There have been several incidents across the country where children have died after hiding in a hot vehicle. For more information and statistics regarding this issue, please visit: http://www.kidsandcars.org/heatstroke.html

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