kids

4-Year-Old Boy Calls 911 After Being Left In A Hot Car, Saves Himself And 6 Other Children

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

A mom in Maryland was arrested after a 4-year-old boy called 911 while waiting unsupervised for her in a hot car.

The mom had gone shopping at the mall in St. Charles, Maryland. While she shopped, she left seven children alone in the car in the heat. The doors were unlocked, but she reportedly told the kids not to leave the vehicle. The windows were rolled up.

The kids ranged in age from 2 years old to 4 years old. They were in the car waiting for at least 20 minutes, and temperatures were around 80 degrees F.

Finally, a 4-year-old boy used a phone in the vehicle to call the police.

Officers arrived and released the kids, who were “scared” and “sweaty.”

“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.

The woman arrived about 10 minutes after the police got there; she faces a charge of confinement of children inside a motor vehicle.

It’s a well-known fact at this point that it’s dangerous to leave kids or pets alone in hot cars with the windows rolled up. Cars basically become ovens in the heat, and children and pets are much more susceptible to the heat than adult humans.

The danger is even greater than many people realize. According to Consumer Reports, even on a 61-degree day, temperatures inside a closed car can reach over 100 degrees in an hour.

“Temperatures that might seem comfortable for adults can quickly become dangerous for children,” Orly Avitzur, MD, told Consumer Reports.

Despite consistent warnings to the public, though, caregivers continue to put children at risk by leaving them in hot cars.

In fact, more children died from being left in hot cars in 2018 than in any of the previous 21 years.

A 37-year-old woman in Maryland is now facing the consequences for this action — and luckily, all of the children she put at risk are alive, thanks to the heroic effort of a 4-year-old boy.

The mom went to the mall and left seven children in her two-door car in the parking lot. She was the mom of two of the children, and she was babysitting the other five.

The mom went on a shopping trip inside for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, she instructed the kids to stay in the car.

It was a hot day, and the windows were rolled up.

After some time, a 4-year-old boy used a phone in the car to call 911.

The boy wasn’t sure where they were, but the police were able to use GPS and “other mechanisms” to pinpoint the location of the vehicle.

Authorities arrived at the scene to find the seven children “scared” and “sweaty.”

Charles County Fire and EMS came to tend to the children, providing treatment on the scene. Thankfully, none of the kids had to go to the hospital for treatment.

Shortly after, the mom returned from shopping. She wouldn’t explain to authorities what she had been doing or why she left the kids in the car.

“As a reminder, it is against the law to leave a child under the age of eight 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 arrested at the scene. She has been charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle. Authorities also discovered that there was only one car seat in the car.

Additional charges are “pending.”

The Department of Social Services also responded to the case and is assisting the police with the investigation.

There’s really NO excuse to leave such young children unsupervised at all, let alone in such a dangerous situation.