Police Respond to North Bend Outlet Mall for Report of Child Left Alone in Vehicle; Reminder of How Quickly Cars Heat Up

On Saturday, July 5, 2014, around 12:15PM, Snoqualmie Police responded to the North Bend Outlet Mall for caller reporting that a child had been left unattended inside a vehicle with the windows rolled up.

The caller estimated that the buckled in child had been in the car more than 10 minutes, but that it appeared someone may have come to check up on the 8-year old.  That early teen male, though, did not open the vehicle, instead he returned to the Nike Store, according to the caller.

The responding police officer said the male teen, who was intermittently checking on the 8-year old, ran into the Nike Store to get his father when police arrived.

The officer spoke to the father, warning/reminding him that car’s interior quickly becomes hotter than outside temperatures and the dangers of the young child being inside the car without water to hydrate. Additionally he warned the father that it wasn’t safe for the child to be alone due to high amount of foot traffic at the mall.

The father said he understood and would make his daughter came into stores with him from now on.

Vehicles Heat up Fast, Even in Mild Summer Heat

It seems every summer there are heartbreaking reports of children perishing when left in hot vehicles. Luckily for this father, temperatures on July 5th were only in the mid 70’s.

Experts warn, though, leaving kids or pets in vehicles can be a life or death situation. Temperatures can quickly rise to above 100 degrees, even when windows are left slightly open – and even when summer temperatures only reach the 70’s.

In Washington it is  against the law to leave children under 16 years old unattended in a parked, running vehicle and illegal to leave a child  under 12 unattended in a parked if entering a place to purchase or consume alcohol.

Regional Animal Services of King County ‘Outside Air Temperatures and Corresponding Inside Car Temperatures’


Outside Air Temperature 

/ Inside Car Temperature











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  • I thought the law was regarding a running vehicle? Not that I am in the habit of leaving my children unattended and certainly common sense is very important here. I’ve just been having a discussion regarding the law and cannot find where it is law whether car is parked or idling, in Washington State. I only find the law regarding a car that is running and law regarding leaving a child unattended if visiting a tavern. I would very much appreciate your reference in your article. Curious. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your comment. That information came in a press release from the City of Snoqualmie. I will look into it and correct if needed. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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