A Pittsburgh mother and stepfather face multiple charges for leaving a 2-year-old inside of their hot car while they were inside of a bar. The car windows were cracked, but the temperature at the time was 80 degrees with 70% humidity.
A pedestrian noticed the boy and immediately called 911. Police found the child slumped over in the car seat, sweating, and unresponsive. Luckily, the child was immediately taken to a hospital and he has since been treated and released.
The child's mother, Terri Hymes, 30, and stepfather, Archie Howard, 27, now face serious charges.
Witnesses report that Hymes left the bar and tried to drive away. Officers say that she was visibly intoxicated. Howard left the bar shortly after, and police also suspect he was under the influence of alcohol.
Hymes and Arnold face charges of Felony Child Endangerment, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct.
The facts of this case are frightening, and even more frightening is that they so closely resemble the recent Atlanta case of Justin Ross Harris, who has recently been accused of murder after leaving his 22-month-old son in his car.
Despite the national attention on Harris's case, parents still either underestimate or ignore the dangers of the heat.
Alarmingly, this is not a new issue.
Last year, an 11-year-old boy from Nashville came up with an idea to address this issue and spread awareness about the dangers of leaving young children in a hot car. This young inventor, Andrew Pelham, created what he calls the E-Z Baby Saver after he heard about the death of a child in his area who was left in a warm vehicle.
The E-Z Baby Saver is made of duct tape and rubber bands, and can be made at home. Read Pelham's instructions for how to make his EZ Baby Saver here.
Pelham's invention won second place in Ohio's Rubberband Contest for Young Inventors.
If you see a child alone in a vehicle call 911 immediately. It only takes a few minutes for a vehicle to reach life-threatening temperatures.