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On your car’s list of features, babysitter isn’t one of them

Warning: Your vehicle is not a babysitter

For Immediate Release: 03-Jul-2019 @ 9:30 AM
MRU #: 19R076

Today, Edmonton’s emergency services (Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, EMS) and the City’s Citizen Services, are reminding citizens that a vehicle is not a babysitter.

Every year, police, fire, paramedics and animal protection officers are called to scenes where a pet or child is left unattended in a vehicle.

Last year, EPS responded to 56 of these calls; 53 involved children and three involved animals. The most calls we received occurred in May 2018. And sadly, this year EPS has already responded to 19 calls for children left in vehicles.

"We hope that this campaign will remind parents and pet owners to reconsider their travel plans if it means their loved ones will be at risk," said Constable Jenn Shewaga of the Child at Risk Response Team. "We don’t want a moment of convenience to become a lifetime of regret."

Even if the vehicle is left running with air conditioning, there are severe risks for this moment of convenience. Extreme heat affects infants and small children more quickly and dramatically than adults because of their size. Their core temperature can increase 3-5 times faster than an adult’s.

Pets get heatstroke more quickly than kids because they can’t cool themselves off by sweating. They only have sweat glands on their paws which won’t do well on a hot car seat.  

In addition to risks of heatstroke and medical distress, a thief could easily steal the vehicle, not knowing there is a child or pet inside. Left unattended, children or loose pets can also put the car in motion by moving the gear shift. There are too many dangerous situations that could happen in this moment of convenience.

Remember: Before the police, fire, or a private citizen can lawfully break a third party’s window to retrieve a child or animal, there must be indicators of heat or cold-induced distress. If you decide to break the window, be safe and watch out for broken glass and aggressive animals.


Please contact Landis Reichle at (780) 421-3508 for more information.

"Dedicated to Protect, Proud to Serve"