Mother charged for leaving 1-year-old in hot car

TOWN AND COUNTRY, MO - A mother was arrested and charged with child endangerment Tuesday (July 10) after police said she left her one-year-old daughter in a hot car while she went shopping.

Town and Country police were called to the Town and Country Crossings parking lot just before 4 p.m. where there were reports of a child left unattended inside a parked car.

Police arrived on the scene to find several employees from a nearby business pulling the child from the hot car. According to police, the car was not running and only one window was left "slightly open."

Police called paramedics to check out the child because she was wearing a long sleeve dress and "sweating profusely."

“The baby was completely drenched in sweat," said West County EMS and Fire Battalion Chief Eric Heimos. "We got our thermolytic camera off of our fire truck just to see what the temperature was inside the car. With the window down, doors closed, it was still 116 degrees inside the vehicle.”

Police released the girl to her father and said she is expected to be okay. However, Heimos warns temperatures that high can be deadly.

“When you get to that 105-core temperature for kids, basically their body will stop sweating which is how they, and how we all, cool off naturally. Then your organs start shutting down.”

Heimos said area departments responded to several calls for heat exposure Tuesday. While the excessive heat warnings that have hit the St. Louis metro lately have moved out of the area, people still need to be cautious.

"It’s still hot outside. I mean, I know it’s not the hundred degrees that it was last week, but people just really need to hydrate, think smart when you have your pets or your kids in your car, and just take care of yourself.”

As part of West County Fire and EMS’ “Look Before You Lock” campaign, residents can pick up a thermometer window decal to place inside their vehicle. The decal will display the temperature inside the vehicle while also act as a visual reminder to check the back seat before locking the vehicle.

Decals may be picked up at the West County Safety House in Ballwin (13790 Manchester Road) while supplies last. Decals will not be mailed.