Can I leave a child alone in my car for a short period of time?
Answer: No. Do not leave a child in a motor vehicle for any length of time. If children are trapped inside cars, especially in hot weather, they can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke in a matter of minutes, leading to permanent disability or death.
Heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, can cause shock, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and heart attack, as well as brain, liver, and kidney damage.
Leaving a child unattended in a car is a crime that is punishable under the Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 22, Section 10, Leaving a child in a vehicle:
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the child is:
(1) younger than seven years of age; and
(2) not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
Leaving a child unattended in a car is also a form of neglectful supervision that is investigated by Child Protective Services.
This information is retrieved from: Texas DFPS.
Photo by: Airman st Class Cody H. Ramirez