Charles County Sheriff's Office

4-Year-Old Calls 911 After Being Left In Hot Car With 6 Other Toddlers

Every year, as soon as the weather gets warm again, stories of children and pets being left inside hot cars invariably enter the news cycle. In this case, seven kids were left inside — but one of them exercised some quick thinking skills.

A parked car can be a death trap.

Unsplash | John Matychuk

It might not seem like a big deal, and the weather outside might not even feel hot. But when a kid or pet is shut in a car, and can't get out, they can easily overheat.

Here's how hot it can get.

Consumer Reports

Light-colored cars are a little more heat-resistant, but the above chart makes it pretty clear: inside a car, a warm 78 degrees can become an unbearable 100 degrees within just half an hour.

Seven kids were trapped inside a car.


Summer isn't in full swing yet, but temperatures can still be dangerous in an enclosed car. A woman in Waldorf, Mayland — not far from Washington — recently left these kids inside the car while she shopped.

Police received a call from this mall.


The call, traced to the St. Charles Towne Center mall, wasn't from a concerned onlooker. It actually came from one of the occupants of the car, who was only four years old.

Police soon arrived at the scene.


According to local media, the kids inside the car were "scared" and "sweaty". The seven kids ranged in age from two to four years old. Fortunately, the car was unlocked, allowing emergency personnel easy access.

An arrest was made.

Unsplash | Matt Popovich

About ten minutes after police arrived, a 37-year-old woman — the driver — arrived at the scene. Police say she'd been shopping inside the mall. She was promptly placed under arrest.

It wasn't a safe scene.

Charles County Sheriff's Office

In addition to the obvious danger of leaving kids in a hot car, police also say there was just one car seat inside for the seven kids. The woman was charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle.

It's a valuable lesson.

Unsplash | Daniel von Appen

"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," noted the police.

Here's why it's so dangerous.

Unsplash | Sharon McCutcheon

Temperatures in Maryland aren't especially hot at this time of year, but Consumer Reports notes that small children and pets are at risk even on days that might seem mild.

If you have a baby on board, take it seriously.

It's a hassle to strap baby into their seat, then unstrap them at the destination, then repeat the whole process over again. But it's illegal to leave them unattended, as the Maryland woman found out.

Shade won't do the trick, either.

Unsplash | Omer Rana

Consumer Reports says research indicates that shade doesn't have enough cooling power to adequately make much of a difference. On average, an astounding 38 children have died every year of vehicular heatstroke.

Summer's nearly here, so take note.

Nobody wants to put their kids or pets at risk, nobody wants to be arrested, and nobody wants to be shamed on the internet. This stuff is all easily avoidable — just don't leave your loved ones in hot cars!