Thinking back on it, I remember my mother leaving my brother and I in the car growing up. It was almost a ritual to stay in the car while our parents went into the store to shop or to pay bills. Honestly, I don’t even remember how long we spent in the car because we kept ourselves occupied with singing and playing games that time seemed to zoom by. Our staying in the car experience was back in the 70s and 80s time frame and experts suggest that due to rising temperatures, kids should NOT be left in car for any reason for any amount of time.

Nonprofit group, Kids and Cars reports that over 600 children in the United States have died by being left in the car alone during Summer or heat present months since 1990.Dr. Christopher McStay, an emergency room doctor and assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center states, “it is never OK to leave kids or pets in a car–even with the windows down.”

Photo of Colleen Manuelito (MCSO)

Recently officials arrested Colleen Manuelito, 28, after she left her three children in the car at the Arizona State Fair. A New Mexico woman is accused of leaving her three children in a car Sunday afternoon outside the Arizona State Fair.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety allege in court records that 28-year-old Colleen Manuelito left her two sons, ages 1 and 3, and her 6-year-old daughter unattended in a locked car in the parking lot of the state fairgrounds near 19th Avenue and Osborn Road in Phoenix.

Manuelito told authorities she was picking up an airbrushed T-shirt from a fair vendor and that the family had attended the fair Saturday, according to an arrest report. She faces three counts of endangering the life of a minor, one count of lying to law enforcement and three counts of reckless child abuse.

A fairgoer alerted authorities after noticing the children in a vehicle at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. By the time the 6-year-old unlocked the door for troopers, the children were “hot to the touch.” The outside temperature was 87 degrees, the DPS said. Emergency personnel examined the children, but there was no indication they suffered any serious trauma, according to the arrest report.

Manuelito contacted the DPS shortly after her children were taken to a first-aid station. Troopers said she was visibly upset and crying. Initially, Manuelito told the troopers that her ex-boyfriend left her children in the car, according to the report, and she claimed to have been at a mall during the incident.

Investigators then asked Manuelito’s daughter who had left them in the car, according to the arrest report, and she replied that “Mommy did.” Upon further questioning, Manuelito admitted that she had left her children in the car and lied because she was embarrassed and angry at her ex-boyfriend, the report said. Manuelito was arrested, and the state Department of Child Safety took custody of her children.

A judge has since released Manuelito from custody and ordered her not to have unsupervised contact with her children, although she may speak with the children by phone. Her next court date is Nov. 2.

Source: AZ Central News

What do you think? Should parent go to jail for leaving children in cars alone?

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