The aunt and grandmother of an 11-month-old baby girl are being charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly leaving her in a hot car while at a store in Bensalem on Sunday afternoon.
The aunt and grandmother walked into Target on Rockhill Drive and “forgot” the baby girl in the car. Multiple customers called the police to report the abuse. An off-duty Philadelphia officer assisted with freeing the child from the hot car. As an emergency crew arrived, the officer was able to remove the child from the vehicle that had an internal temperature of 115-degrees.
When the grandmother and aunt were confronted by the police, they informed them that they “forgot” the child in the car.
The baby’s mother was contacted immediately and she rushed the little girl to the St. Mary Medical Center for a health check and will stay for observation. It has been reported by Fox29 that the baby will be okay.
ABC6 further reveals that the child was left alone in the car for 14 minutes.
Director of Public Safety Fred Harran could not believe that anyone could simply “forget” a child in the car.
“I don’t know how someone forgets that you leave a 1-year-old in the car on one of the most blistering days of the year. They went in shopping and they were going about their business. Luckily there was an off-duty Philadelphia police officer that witnessed this as well. He was able to get the car door open with some sort of lock-out tool. Bensalem police arrived and the officer was tending to the child.”
The baby’s grandmother, Patricia Diaz, and aunt, Katia Hernandez, are both being charged with endangering the welfare of a child and have been arraigned. Neither the grandmother or the aunt could post bail, and they remain at the Buck County Jail.
This type of crime is happening all too often lately, and this little girl, who happens to be turning 1 in a few days, was certainly lucky that she had people in the right place at the right time and was able to save her.
Science Daily once revealed a temperature table to help remind the public of the dangers and deadly consequences of leaving a child in a hot car.
Andrew Grundstein, the leader of the research and a part of the University of Georgia’s department of geography in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, describes the threat of leaving a child in a hot car for even just a couple of minutes.
“The danger of leaving young children unattended in vehicles has been well documented. But it still happens, and it’s always the worst kind of tragedy. Most of the time, caregivers simply forget their children, but more than a quarter of deaths in this situation involve children intentionally left in cars. In some cases, parents just don’t want to disturb a sleeping child. Such behavior shows a clear lack of understanding about the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles.”
The research concluded that the temperature inside a car parked in a parking lot rises seven degrees in just five minutes. In just a half-hour, the car temperature rises 29 degrees and 47 degrees in a short hour.
“While the deaths of children left in cars from hypothermia is tragic, there is, of course, no reason, ever, to leave a child in a car unattended. Risks such as abduction or injury abound, as well as children being asphyxiated from entrapment by vehicle windows.”
This story is developing and more information will be released as it becomes available.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]