A child called 911 to report he and six other children were locked in a hot vehicle in a parking lot in St. Charles, Maryland early May.
Police later arrested a 37-year-old woman, who had been inside the mall shopping for at least twenty minutes, reports NBC
The 911 operator received the call on May 10 at 1:06 p.m. The boy didn't know where he was, so the operator used GPS and other mechanisms to locate the car and send the police.
Officers said the boy used a cell phone that had been left in the car.
Police arrived and found seven children, ranging from age 2 to 4, inside the two-door Chevrolet Monte Carlo with the windows rolled up and the engine not running, and with the outside temperature around 26 degrees C. The children were removed from the vehicle and treated by paramedics at the scene.
The driver returned ten minutes later. The woman, who is the mother of two of the children and was babysitting the others, was charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle. Additional charges are pending.
The Charles County sheriff's office said it is illegal to leave a child under the age of eight unattended inside a motor vehicle if the caregiver is out of sight, unless a reliable person who's at least 13 years old remains with the child.
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Drivers are reminded never to leave children or pets unattended in cars, especially in hot weather. On May 9, a 16-month-old boy died in Burnaby, B.C., after he was left alone in a vehicle for several hours in unseasonably hot temperatures.
British Columbia's public safety minister has asked his staff to assess measures to prevent such deaths, such as an alert system in all vehicles. Some automakers already include a rear-seat reminder that chimes or sounds the horn if a back door is opened before driving, but isn't opened again after the vehicle is parked and shut off.