Parents who left toddlers in hot car face charges

2015-07-18 09:36
The car the two toddlers were locked in while their parents went shopping at Liberty Midlands Mall, after its window was broken into by paramedics with a crowbar.

The car the two toddlers were locked in while their parents went shopping at Liberty Midlands Mall, after its window was broken into by paramedics with a crowbar. (Supplied)

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THE parents of two toddlers may be criminally charged after leaving their children in a locked car unattended at the Liberty Midlands Mall yesterday afternoon.

The children, aged two and four, were allegedly left alone in the car with “only one window rolled a few centimetres down”.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said the two boys had been left in the car and were spotted by a security guard.

“Paramedics were alerted to the scene by mall security and, on their arrival, paramedics found the two young boys locked in a light motor vehicle with the windows barely ajar. Paramedics were instructed by SAPS on the scene to break one of the windows to gain access to both boys.”

A paramedic on the scene, who would not be named, said they broke one of the windows with a crowbar after the four-year-old in the car would not wake up. “When the parents eventually came out of the mall, they seemed more concerned that their car window had been broken than the danger they had put their children in,” he said.

Meiring said that both the children suffered mild heat exhaustion and were treated at the scene.

Pietermaritzburg SAPS spokesperson Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese said both the parents will be charged with child negligence in accordance with the Childrens Act.

“The children were taken by social workers for counselling and [they] will be investigating the parents to see if they are fit to be parents.

“The children will not return home until the investigation deems the parents fit to raise their children.”

Child Welfare director Julie Todd said the act is clear on parents’ responsibility towards their children. “There is no reason to leave your children locked in a car. It is very irresponsible parenting. Besides heat exhaustion, the car could have been stolen, or the children could have played around with the brakes and gears in the car.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  child abuse

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