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‘Make sure you get the kid out’ | Knoxville Police remind public about ‘Good Samaritan Law’

Tennessee law allows any bystander to break a car window if they believe a child is at risk of heatstroke.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — 910 children have died from being left in a hot car since 1998, including a child in Memphis in May 2022.

The Knoxville Police Department said hot car deaths are entirely avoidable, and people can help a child get out of a hot vehicle if they see they are at risk of heatstroke.

"The Good Samaritan Law offers protections for residents or citizens who have to take action," KPD's Public Information Officer Scott Erland said. "Call 911 and make sure you get the kid out of the car so they can start cooling down and we can medical assistance there as soon as possible."

In 95-degree weather, temps will rise above 100 degrees just 10 minutes after turning off your engine, 120 degrees after 30 minutes and 140+ degrees after an hour.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 53% of hot car deaths happen because someone forgot their child in a car.

Thursdays and Fridays towards the end of the work week account for the most incidents since 1998.

Erland said leaving your child in a hot car is also a safety risk.

"That's another opportunity for somebody to jump in your car and steal it, or even worse, directly abduct your child," Erland said. "These are the worst-case scenarios ... but those are certainly possibilities when you leave your kid in the car."

The week of June 20, 2022, has forecasted highs of 90+ degree weather.

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