WACO, Texas — The summer has just started and the temperatures are beginning to rise, so Waco police are warning the community about the dangers of leaving children and pets inside vehicles.
There have been two deaths in Texas involving children left inside hot cars so far in 2019.
One of those was an 18-month-old in Galveston and the other was a four-year-old in Providence Village. According to No Heat Stroke, there have been 13 total child deaths in the country.
Sgt. Patrick Swanton with the Waco Police Department said there are steps people should take that could help save a child's life.
First, call 911 immediately.
"If the child or pet is in immediate danger, do what you have to do to get in the car and take care of the child or pet," Swanton said.
He said someone may even have to break a window in an emergency situation.
Swanton said if the air conditioner is on inside the vehicle and the child appears to be well, stay near them while on the phone with 911.
It's against city ordinance to leave a pet inside a vehicle even if the window is cracked open, according to Swanton.
Anyone who leaves a child or pet in a vehicle could face criminal charges.
"Short and simple, don't do it," Swanton said. "Potentially you could be charged with child endangerment. If a kid is injured in a car, you could be charged with injury to a child. There's a lot of things that can go wrong."
The charge for leaving a pet inside a vehicle could be animal cruelty.
Police said anyone who's unsure what to do in a situation like this, call 911.