Edmonton police have laid charges against a 22-year-old woman after her eight-month-old baby was found in a hot car and taken to hospital.
Police were called around 8:20 p.m. Thursday, after a person said a baby had been left in a vehicle in a parking lot near 55 Street and 167 Avenue.
The caller told police the baby had been in the car, with the window left slightly open, for about 10 minutes before 911 was called.
Emergency crews arrived on the scene, where EMS removed the child from the vehicle. At the time it was 26 C outside and police said the infant was not very responsive. The child was treated and taken to hospital for precautionary reasons.
Officers then found the baby’s mother. Police said she told them she brought her baby with her to meet with a friend for coffee and alleged she forgot the infant in the vehicle.
The 22-year-old mother was charged with cause a child to be in need of intervention under the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act.
Edmonton police issued a reminder to parents that vehicles are not babysitters.
“Leaving a child alone in a vehicle is dangerous and can cause them medical distress, at its worst, be a cause of death.,” said Sgt. Lael Sauter with the EPS Child at Risk Response Team. “This incident could have had a tragic ending.”
The incident occurred as the city of Edmonton has been put under a heat warning. Temperatures are expected to be high for an “unusually long duration,” according to Environment Canada.
Some areas could reach temperatures in the mid-30s later this week and through the weekend.
Watch below: The Friday, July 7, 2017 weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area.
Children are accidentally left behind in hot vehicles every year in Canada and the U.S. While experts say the mistake is preventable, most parents still think it could never happen to them.
Known as Forgotten Baby Syndrome (FBS), experts tell Global News the extreme memory lapse can easily happen to anyone, and often occurs when parents or caregivers are distracted, fatigued or experience a break in daily routine.
Even on days that seem relatively mild, experts say it only takes 20 minutes for the interior of a vehicle to reach extreme temperatures.
Experts say children are especially sensitive to heat exposure because their sweat glands are not fully developed, which means their bodies are not capable of cooling down quickly.
— With files from Phil Heidenreich, Global News and Irene Ogrodnik