(CHANDLER, Ariz.) — An Arizona mom was arrested after she said she accidentally left her baby locked in a hot car in a Target parking lot, according to authorities.
A witness told Chandler, Arizona, police that she had parked next to the woman’s car Tuesday afternoon when she noticed a baby boy strapped in a car seat “crying hysterically” and “dripping with sweat,” according to the probable cause statement.
The temperature reached 108 degrees in Chandler on Tuesday.
Fire crews broke the car’s back window to reach the 15-month-old baby boy. The child, who appeared OK, was taken out of the car and treated, the probable cause statement said.
Surveillance video showed the baby’s mother, 39-year-old Holli Platt, going into Target with three of her kids at 4:08 p.m. — 18 minutes before the baby was rescued, officials said.
At about 4:46 p.m., Platt rushed out of the Target after her name was announced over the intercom, the probable cause statement said.
Platt told police she had put the baby in the backseat, and when she parked at Target she was distracted by her other children, according to the probable cause statement.
Platt said when she heard her name called in the store, she realized she left the little boy in the car, the document said.
Platt was arrested on a charge of child abuse, and made her initial court appearance from jail on Wednesday.
Platt told police “she had no intent to leave her child in the vehicle,” the probable cause statement said.
Children’s bodies heat up much faster than adults do, according to the National Safety Council.
Kids’ internal organs begin to shut down once their core body temperature reaches 104 degrees — and it takes very little time for a car to get too hot for them, according to a report published by the council last year.
On an 86-degree day, for example, it takes only about 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach a dangerous 105 degrees, researchers said.
Nationwide, 32 children have died in hot cars so far this year, and eight have died in August alone, according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.
The group is advocating for Congress to require rear occupant alarm technology in cars.
“The only thing more tragic than a child or animal dying in a hot car is knowing that there are solutions that exist that could prevent this,” Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org, said in a statement in July. “By not utilizing available technology to sense a child or pet alone inside a vehicle, we are shamefully allowing this to happen over and over again.”
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