There were seven kids under the age of four inside the vehicle
A Maryland mom was arrested this week after one of the seven kids she left unsupervised in a hot car while she shopped called 911 from inside the vehicle. The children were left with the windows rolled up for at least 20 minutes.
Charles County deputies received a call from a young child just after 1 p.m, telling the dispatcher he didn’t know where they were, but he and six other kids were locked inside a hot car. Authorities were able to trace the call to a mall parking lot in St. Charles, Maryland, a press release said.
When police arrived, they found seven kids inside the car with the windows rolled up and the car off and unlocked. The oldest child in the car was four years old (and believed to be the one who called 911) and the youngest was just two. Officers were able to get the children out of the car and Charles County Fire/EMS provided treatment.
According to WJLA, the kids were “scared” and “sweaty,” with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees that day. The driver of the car, a 37-year-old woman, arrived at her vehicle about ten minutes after police arrived, but had been in the mall for at least 20 minutes shopping. Police also found there was only one car seat inside the car.
As summer approaches, there are always heartbreaking stories about kids being left in hot cars. In 2018 alone, 52 children died as a result of being left in a hot car — the highest recorded number in the past 21 years.
Even on days with mild temperatures, temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach dangerous levels within an hour, Consumer Reports said, “posing major health risks to small children or pets left inside.” According to their testing, an inside car temp reached more than 105° F with an outside temperature of 61° F outside in just one hour.
“Temperatures that might seem comfortable for adults can quickly become dangerous for children,” said Orly Avitzur, M.D., former medical director for Consumer Reports. “And elderly passengers who can’t care for themselves, or those with cognitive problems, can also be at risk if they’re left in a car on even a mild day.”
“It is against the law to leave a child under the age of 8 unattended inside a motor vehicle if the caregiver is out of sight of the child unless a reliable person at least 13-years-old remains with the child,” the Charles County sheriff’s office said. “It is also dangerous to leave anyone, including pets, inside a motor vehicle especially as outside temperatures become warmer. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly rise to extremely high and even fatal levels in a short period of time.”
The woman was found to be the mom of two of the children and was babysitting the other five. She was arrested on the scene and charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle.