Woman Avoids Arrest After Leaving Child Alone in Car, Deadly Decision Say Experts
HERNANDO – With summer temperatures in Florida ranging between 85 and 95 degrees and humidity making it feel 10 to 20 degrees warmer, leaving a child or pet inside a vehicle for any length of time could quickly turn tragic.
Experts say more than 600 children have died in the U.S. as a result of children being left in a car unattended. Most deaths occur when children enter unlocked vehicles and get trapped or when parents forget that a child is in a vehicle. But there are some instances when parents purposely leave their children in vehicles out of simple convenience, thinking that only a few minutes alone would be okay.
A few weeks ago RNRF reported the arrest of two women after they left a 4-year-old child unattended in an SUV while they went shopping in Sports Authority. Both women face child neglect charges and the child is now in the care of a family member.
A similar incident occurred last night at the Dollar General Store, located on Cortez Blvd (Behind Beacon Theater), where witnesses say a woman left a 2-year-old boy inside her car while she went shopping.
Fire Rescue responded, cleared the child medically, and then turned the scene over to Sheriff’s Deputies.
During the investigation, a man who was presumably the boy’s father arrived and prepared to take possession of the child, in the event that the mother would be charged. He was not very happy with the presence of RNRF, as illustrated in the picture below.
Deputies viewed video surveillance provided by Dollar General Store management but they were unable to determine the length of time that the child was left alone. Sources say the woman avoided arrest because she claimed her brother was supposed to be watching the child, even though the brother was nowhere to be found. Witnesses say the child was in the vehicle for at least 10 minutes but that could not be confirmed.
The temperature inside a vehicle can increase upwards of 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, say experts, and on a 90 degree day, temperatures can reach 120 degrees in just 20 minutes.
Heat stroke may occur when body temperature passes 104 degrees Fahrenheit. That overwhelms the brain’s temperature control, causing symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, loss of consciousness, and or death, according to WebMD.com.
Officials say “get involved” if you see a child locked in a vehicle and call 911 immediately.
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