Aunt leaves child in broiling car

2008-03-05 00:00

The aunt of an 18-month-old baby and her friend were arrested at a shopping centre on the south coast yesterday after locking the infant in the car in the torrid heat.

The little boy’s 26-year-old aunt, in whose care he’d been left, only returned to the car 25 minutes after the screaming, dehydrated child was taken out of the vehicle, said Superintendent Zandra Hechter.

One of the car’s windows had been left about half a centimetre open, while the humidity and discomfort index had risen to 35°C.

Hechter said a car guard heard the infant screaming and called the police. The child was drenched in sweat by the time the police broke the window to take him out of the car.

The little boy was treated for dehydration and sunstroke and taken to hospital, said Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha.

“Dehydration and sunstroke is dangerous because it can cause organ failure,” Botha said.

The infant’s aunt and her 23-year-old friend, the car owner, were charged with child neglect.

According to the weather service, the temperature was 28°C in Margate and the humidity caused the discomfort index to rise by a further seven degrees.

The Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa said the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rise to 54,4°C within 10 minutes if it is 32°C outside. Within a mere 90 seconds the temperature can rise by 11°C.

Last year, Abigail Ntunja (42) was given a suspended fine of R2 000 after leaving a 20-month-old toddler in a vehicle at the same shopping centre.

Also last year, a child died in Cape Town after being forgotten by her father in a closed car.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.