A 30-year-old woman has been charged after police said they found her seven-month-old child sitting unattended in the backseat of a locked vehicle during an icy March cold snap in Edmonton.
“The vehicle was not running at that time,” said Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Scott Pattison.
According to police, officers responded to a complaint regarding the child at about 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday. They found the infant in a commercial parking lot near 96 Street and 82 Avenue.
The officers decided to break the front driver’s side window to grab the child, which they said was crying, after what police called a “lengthy, unsuccessful search for the driver of the vehicle in nearby businesses.” They said the mother arrived at the vehicle about 10 minutes later.
When asked if the woman provided an excuse for why she left her infant unattended, police said,”from our understanding, she was more concerned that officers broke her window.”
The temperature in Edmonton was -21 C at the time and -28 when factoring in the wind chill.
The woman, whose name has not been released in order to protect the identity of her child, has been charged with causing a child to be in need of intervention.
“We don’t as adults want to be in our vehicles in this sort of weather so to leave a seven-month-old infant in the car is not very responsible,” Pattison said.
“We all love our children and we don’t want harm to come to them and we all make mistakes and hopefully we learn from them.”
Police are encouraging anyone who sees a child left alone in a car to call 911 and if that takes too long, call AMA Roadside Assistance at 1-800-222-4357. If you do see a child in distress, police recommend you ask others for help to check nearby businesses to find the parent or guardian.