INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police are warning parents about the dangers of leaving your kids in the car alone in below freezing temperatures.
The latest case happened Tuesday night at Castleton Square Mall. 24-Hour News 8 learned a passerby waved down security after seeing two kids alone in a parked car. The car was not running.
Police said by the time they got there to check on the kids the temperature outside was 8 degrees.
Parents told 24-Hour News 8 they are outraged after hearing about what happened to an 11-year-old girl and her two-year-old brother at Castleton Square Mall.
“That is a shame because I couldn’t see you leaving a pet outside, let alone your child,” said Chanel Coe, who has an eight-year-old son.
“I wouldn’t leave my child unattended in a car, under no circumstances, so to hear that parents are leaving their kids in the cold is just beyond me,” said Erika Bledsoe, who has a two-year-old daughter.
According to a police report, a woman noticed the children alone in the car near H&M around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night. She was worried about them so she told security. An officer got to the parking lot and saw a young girl and boy sitting in the passenger seat.
The report shows the girl was holding her two-year-old brother. She told officers she had the keys to the car, but she turned it off, and her mother was inside the mall at a clothing store. At this time it’s still unclear how long the kids had been sitting in the car.
“I would think those parents need some serious help because you don’t leave your pet in the car. You don’t leave your kid in the car, even for a second, not just because it’s cold, but anything could happen to a child,” said Michelle Ryan-Nickerson, who lives in Indianapolis.
An officer went into the mall and tracked down the 29-year-old mother and gave her a warning. Police said a report was filed in this case and sent to the Department of Child Services.
“It’s an important lesson and hopefully the parents that only got off with a warning take that as a lesson and learn not to do that in the future,” said Bledsoe.
Police said they responded to another call just hours before on Clearvista Drive. That report shows a woman left her four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter in the car for more than an hour in freezing temperatures.
Doctors said being exposed to the cold could lead to frostbite, hypothermia, and other cold related injuries.