On Sunday afternoon, my girlfriend and her husband made a pitstop at a local grocery store. In the parking lot, she noticed a young boy asleep in the back seat of a vehicle. The windows were closed and there was no one else in the car with him. In the heat of the afternoon, this raised the red flags and she quickly placed a call to 911.
According to the news release issued by the Toronto Polic Service, the boy was in the car for at least an hour while his mother was shopping in the store. The boy was treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration, but is, thankfully, alive. The mother has been charged with child abandonment.
I applaud the quick thinking efforts of my friends. I wonder how many different ways the authorities have to warn the public about not leaving children, pets or the elderly unattended in cars in the kind of heat we’ve been experiencing this summer, before people will finally get the message. It is unsafe (and illegal) to leave your children unattended in a locked vehicle. Hel-looo, is this thing on?
Sure, I’m a mom who often runs through my day with my 6-year old daughter. I know all too well the temptation to just *pop in real quick* to pay for gas or to run up to the ATM. But the thought that I am putting my daughter in harms way is motivation enough for me to slow down just a little.
An editorial published in today’s edition of The Toronto Star sums it up quite eloquently.
Let’s protect our children. Let’s look out for each other. We don’t want to hear another story like this one. We don’t want to read about a tragedy that could have been prevented.