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Child left in car


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  • Child left in car

    Saw a child locked in a car in a parking lot. I asked everyone within 100' if if was their car, then called 911. It was 90deg out and although the engine was running there was no way of telling if the A/C was on or working. The child (girl approx 3 or 4yo) was strapped in a child seat and slumped over to the side - but quite obviously breathing. 911 said not to touch the car.

    The 911 operator asked me to stand out by the road to direct the police/medic in - but 5 mins later the car drove past me on it's way out of the lot. Of course I wasn't going to try and stop the car. I called 911 back and told them the car was on the move again and they said thanks for the update.

    I gave the car's license plate to the 911 operator. They also got my name & callback #.

    Question: If this happened in your jurisdiction then would that be the end of it? When it's clear that the child is no longer in immediate danger then you'd just stand down and move on? Or would there be an attempt to contact the registered owner of the car to maybe educate them on the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car? Maybe a note to child services?

    Last edited by JohnG; 08-18-2008, 06:44 PM.

  • #2
    That'd be the end of it here... no notes to child services or house calls either


    • #3
      Most likely the child was sleeping with the AC on. Did you see pooling of water under the car?? That indicates that the AC is running.

      Mom/Dad probably didn't want to wake the child but unless you have a clear view of the child at all times at least in my state (PA) it is against the law.

      I have also advised parents in the past that.....

      1. Never a good idea to leave a child unattended

      2. Keys are in and engine running, a car could easily be stolen even if the doors are locked and now you have a bigger problem then a stolen car!

      3. Car can stall and in this heat the temp inside of a car can kill a child or pet in less then 10 minutes time.

      You did the right thing!



      • #4
        With a license plate number (and the pictures you got), we would probably follow-up on an investigation of possible child endangerment. Also, it's illegal to leave a young child alone in the car with engine running....

        You did the right thing by calling 9-1-1, regardless if the local police follow-up or not.


        • #5
          Personally I would still want to find that car and have a very warm heart to heart with the parent. No matter what, here in Cali you have a violation from a simple infraction (traffic ticket) to felony child abuse depending on a/c issues. Protection of children especially the little ones are taken very seriously by me and I will always make that hook if I can.
          Today's Quote:

          "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
          Albert Einstein


          • #6
            Misdemeanor in Florida to leave child under 6 in car alone while it's running.


            • #7
              John, first of all, you did the right thing.The situation seems to have corrected itself,although I have to seriously question the judgement of any parent who would leave a child under the conditions you described. My colleagues have already mentioned those.Again, you did the correct thing, and for what it's worth, thanks.


              • #8
                You did the right thing & while some would probably leave it at that, out here in the desert such incidents have been fatal. Follow-up is definitely warranted & out here it wouldn't be unusual to book the parents for Endangerment. Hell, I've booked people for leaving their DOG in the car like that!


                • #9
                  It is a violation in Maryland to leave leave a car running without the operator being present. as far as the child goes, Reckless endagerment, but it would probably be hard to prove without an injury to the child... I'd have to ask the DA about that one.

                  I would have at least followed up with the R/O,, explained things like:

                  What if the car died???
                  A/C Failed, someone broke the window and drove off with your car, and child, brake failed and car slipped into gear,,,, etc....

                  Never a good idea... to leave an unlicensed person especially a child in a running vehicle.


                  • #10
                    You did OK.
                    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                    "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                    >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                    Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.


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