Mom Spots 2-Year-Old In Hot Car At Target, Alerts Police

Image courtesy of CBS LA

Even though summer is winding down, temperatures can still be pretty hot, and it’s especially dangerous to leave children or pets behind in your car. That’s why it was fortunate that one shopper at an Ontario, CA, Target store happened to notice a small child in the backseat of a locked car in the store’s parking lot.

Fortunately, she knew exactly what to do. She called 9-1-1 and attempted to free the little girl herself, sticking her hands in the slightly-open window and attempting to break it.

“As a mom you want to prevent a tragedy,” she told CBS Los Angeles. (Warning: auto-play video at that link)

Local police arrived and freed the little girl, comforting her until her mother emerged from the Target store. The girl, whose father is currently out of the country, went with child protective services, and her mother was arrested.

The toddler was left alone for at least 15 minutes while her mother was inside the store shopping, and police say that the temperature inside reached 104 degrees.

“I just think I was in the right place at the right time and that was God,” the woman who noticed the child and called for help told reporters.

According to advocacy group Kids and Cars, an average of 37 children die every year after they’re locked in a hot car, often in a rear-facing child safety seat where a caregiver might not notice them when the family’s routine has been disrupted. That’s more than 800 child deaths since 1990, and some lawmakers are pushing to require automakers to include alert systems in new vehicles to prevent hot car tragedies.