Turning Tragedy Into a Cause
Kids and Cars Don't Mix
More Laws Protect Dogs Than Kids
Education and prevention are key to reducing the number of
pediatric injuries, Bensard says. Legislation may dissuade some people from
leaving their children alone with cars, he says, but mostly it is up to parents
to use their common sense.
"Sometimes families don't understand the dangers and
implications of some of their decisions," Bensard says. "It's just
being irresponsible. We all fall into that trap, and have to be better
Only 10 states have laws specifically regarding children left
unattended in vehicles, yet most have legislation about leaving dogs in hot
cars. At Struttman's urging, Illinois State Sen. John Cullerton, a Democrat
from Chicago, introduced a bill earlier this year to punish parents for leaving
their kids behind.
Most states, like Illinois, have laws regarding child
endangerment, but nothing specifically about cars.
"Children are left in cars and are dying. That is something
that is so serious, it needs to be addressed," Cullerton says. "We are
working to discourage that type of activity."
Struttman also is targeting legislators in Kansas, Georgia,
South Carolina, Tennessee, and California.
"You can't just let [parents] walk away and let them think
what they did is OK," Struttman says. "They have to be reprimanded in