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Mother charged after leaving child in running, unlocked car in south Edmonton

A mother was charged under the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act after a four-year-old child was left alone in a running car in a south Edmonton parking lot on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Credit: Twitter: EPS Sgt. Maze

A mother has been charged under the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act after a four-year-old child was left alone in a running car in a south Edmonton parking lot on Sunday.

At around 5:10 p.m., police were called to a parking lot in the area of Ellerslie Road and 91 Street.

Emergency crews found a four-year-old sitting in the backseat of a running, unlocked vehicle. All four windows were rolled up, police said.

A witness told police she watched the vehicle for at least 20 minutes before officers arrived.

Shortly after police arrived, the mother of the four-year-old returned to the car. She was charged with causing a child to be in need of intervention. Her name has not been released.

Temperatures outside hovered in the 28 C to 30 C range at around 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Police have repeatedly warned of the dangers of leaving children alone in vehicles, particularly when it’s hot outside. Edmonton was under a heat warning all weekend. On Friday, police held a news conference to remind people not to leave children and pets in vehicles alone.

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“Don’t leave any children unattended who are under the age of 10 inside vehicles,” Sgt. Lael Sauter said. “They could be choking on something… if there’s no parent there present that’s able to actually help take care of that child at a time, we could find that that parent returns back to that vehicle and finds their child unresponsive or worse.”

READ MORE: Don’t leave kids or pets in hot cars: Edmonton police warning

Sauter also warned of child abductions, kids accidentally putting a vehicle in gear, or kids leaving the vehicle.

“There’s been vehicles that have been stolen with children that were left unattended inside the vehicle. It has happened in the Edmonton region,” he said. “Kids, if they’re moveable and if they can get around inside a vehicle, can actually put a vehicle in motion.

“Children cannot be left alone in the vehicle. The vehicle is not a babysitter.”

On Thursday, a 22-year-old mother was charged after her eight-month-old baby was found in a hot car in northeast Edmonton. Police said EMS crews had to pull the baby out of the car. The baby was taken to the Stollery Children’s Hospital as a precaution.

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Watch below: Edmonton police warn of the dangers of leaving children alone in vehicles. 

Click to play video: 'Edmonton police warning drivers not to leave kids or pets in hot cars'
Edmonton police warning drivers not to leave kids or pets in hot cars

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