Maryland mother charged after boy calls 911 to report he and six other children are ‘unattended and hot’ inside a car

A Maryland woman was charged after she left seven children inside a car on a hot day while she shopped, police said.

Police were alerted to the incident after one of the kids called 911 on Friday to say they were stuck “inside a car unattended and hot,” according to a press release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

The boy said he did not know where they were, but cops were able to locate the children at the St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf using GPS and other mechanisms.

Upon arrival, police found seven children in the car “with the windows rolled up and the car not running,” according to the press release.

Police helped the children out of the car and the county’s fire department and EMS treated them on the scene.

The 37-year-old mother, who was not identified to protect the children’s identifies, arrived at her vehicle about 10 minutes after police got there. Cops determined that she had been shopping inside the mall for at least 20 minutes.

The oldest child inside the vehicle was 4 years old and the youngest was 2. The woman who was charged was the mother of two of the kids and babysitting the others, officials said.

She was charged with confinement of children inside a motor vehicle. Additional charges are pending but a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said nothing had been filed as of Monday afternoon.

It is against the law to leave a child under 8 years old unattended inside a motor vehicle if the caregiver is out of sight, unless a reliable person at least 13 years old remains with the child, according to the sheriff’s office.

“It is also dangerous to leave anyone, including pets, inside a motor vehicle especially as outside temperatures become warmer,” the press release read. “The temperature inside a parked car can quickly rise to extremely high and even fatal levels in a short period of time.”

Temperatures on Friday in Waldorf reached a high of 80 degrees. 

According to WJLA, the kids were "scared" and "sweaty", while authorities were reported as believing the 4-year-old used a phone left in the car to call for help.

The penalty for leaving children unattended is up to $500 in fines, 30 days in jail, or both, as per Maryland state law.

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