A 32-year-old Goleta woman faces a possible child endangerment charge after allegedly leaving her 9-month-old son unattended in the hot car while she went into the grocery store.
At approximately 1:10 p.m., Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a child locked inside a vehicle at the Magnolia Shopping Center in the 5100 block of Hollister Avenue in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County.
The incident was reported to 9-1-1 by a citizen who saw the baby alone in the car buckled in his car seat.
Even though the back windows were rolled down partially, the temperature outside at the time was estimated to be about 95 degrees.
A Santa Barbara County firefighter was in the area and helped get the baby out of the car safely. The child was crying and hot but otherwise in good condition.
Sheriff's deputies were on scene for 10 to 15 minutes when the mother returned to the car. It’s unknown exactly how long he had been in the vehicle.
Child endangerment charges will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office. The baby was released back to the mother with a referral to Child Welfare Services.
The Sheriff’s Department wants to remind residents to never leave a child in the car unattended, especially on a warm day. The heat can cause a child to rapidly overheat and can have deadly results. The younger the child, the quicker the effect can be.
— Kelly Hoover is a public information specialist for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.