- 20 states have Unattended Child Laws that have specific language addressing leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.
- The remaining 30 states do not have laws specifically against leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.
Another 14 states have had previously proposed unattended child laws.
- A total of 29 states have laws about leaving animals unattended in vehicles. Summary.
- There are 13 states with
"Good Samaritan Laws" with specific language that protects persons who see a child in a car and take action to render assistance.

A 2005 Associated Press (AP) study found "Wide disparity exists in sentences for leaving kids to die in hot cars". It examined both the frequency of prosecutions and length of sentences in hyperthermia death.

- It found that charges were filed in 49% of all the deaths and 81% of those resulted in convictions.
- In cases with paid caregivers (i.e., childcare workers, babysitters) 84% were charged and 96% convicted.
- Only 7% of the cases involved drugs or alcohol.