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If you see a child or dog trapped in a hot car, keep this in mind while breaking the window

Florida law grants legal immunity to Good Samaritans who break through a car window to rescue a person or animal -- under certain conditions.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the temperature climbs, so too does the risk of hot car deaths -- and it's perfectly legal to bust through a window help someone in a desperate situation.

While most people, hopefully, would break through a window at a moment's notice, there are certain criteria to follow to be protected from the law.

According to a 2016 Florida law, someone who enters a car, including by force, can be immune from penalty for saving a person. The law applies to rescuing an animal as well.

If someone sees a person or animal in need, the law dictates they need to consider the following:

  1. Can the person or animal exit themselves? If not, continue reading.
  2. Do you have a reasonable belief the person or animal is suffering? If yes, keep going.
  3. Call 911 before entering the car. Done? Break the window.
  4. But use no more force than necessary.
  5. Stay with the person or animal in a safe spot near the car until first responders arrive.

There have been seven pediatric hot car deaths in 2019, according to a researcher at NoHeatStroke.org. From 1998-2018, Florida ranks No. 2 with the most hot-car deaths. 

A baby died outside a Florida daycare Wednesday after she was left in a van for hours.

RELATED: Infant dies after being left in van at Florida daycare

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