Lifestyle & Human Interest

4-Year-Old Calls 911 After Being Left in Hot Car, Saves His Life and Lives of 6 Other Kids


Summer is just around the corner, and many people prepare for summer festivities by tanning, stocking up on sunscreen and making sure their swimsuits fit.

At the same time, however, this is the time of year we hear too many stories of people who forget how dangerous that summer heat can be. A car can quickly turn into an oven when exposed to the hot summer sun.

On Friday, May 10, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland responded to a call that would make most parents’ hearts skip a beat.

Seven young children had been left inside a car with the windows up and the engine off when the temperature outside the vehicle was around 80 degrees. The Sheriff’s Office told WLJA-TV, a local news station, that these children ranged in age from 2 to 4.

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Thankfully, the oldest of the children managed to call 911, saying that they were hot and didn’t know where they were.

Unbeknownst to them, the children had been left in the car at St. Charles Towne Center, a local mall in Waldorf.

The 37-year-old mother of two of the kids in the car had gone inside to shop, leaving her kids and the kids she was supposed to be watching unattended and with the command to “not to leave the vehicle.”

After the 4-year-old hero called 911, deputies were able to figure out the children’s location by using the phone’s GPS.

According to WTTG, when the deputies arrived, they found a black, 2-door Monte Carlo with the children stuck inside, just sitting in the parking lot of the mall. They also discovered that there was only one car seat in the vehicle, despite the number of young children.

Maryland law states that all children under 8 years of age must be in an appropriate child restraint or booster seat.

Officers told WJLA that they found the kids to be “scared and sweaty” when they arrived. After freeing them, the Charles County Fire and EMS was called to the scene to tend to the children.

Thankfully, none of them needed to be taken to the emergency room.

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Ten minutes after the authorities arrived, the mother got back to the car. It is unclear exactly how long she had been inside, or what she had been doing, but it is estimated that she had left the children unattended for at least 20 minutes.

The Sheriff’s office told WJLA that the woman is being charged with “confinement of children inside a motor vehicle” and that they are consulting with the State’s Attorney’s office regarding additional charges.

Even though the children ended up being OK thanks to the 4-year-old’s smart thinking, social services are investigating as well.

Hopefully this story will be a reminder to the many parents out there to cherish their children, and to never leave them unattended! Even though a small amount of time away may not seem like a big deal, this story serves as a reminder of the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car.

Be sure to research your own state’s laws and regulations regarding child vehicle safety to make sure that you and your family have a safe summer.

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