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Children left in vehicle

Last Wednesday around 3 p.m. a woman was cited for child neglect after leaving two youths unattended in her automobile outside of Workforce Essentials Incorporated on 2nd Street in Selmer while temperatures soared around 95 F.

According to Selmer Police Department Patrolmen that responded to the call phoned in by witnesses of the woman’s neglect, a one-year-old infant and an eight-year-old girl were left in the woman’s car with the keys in the ignition but without the engine running, said Patrolman Blake Huckabee.

Huckabee said it was an “open case,” so the woman’s name could not be provided to the report, but it was believed that the woman was a babysitter and not the children’s mother.

Patrolman Dustin Jaco said an employee inside Workforce Essentials Incorporated claimed the woman had been inside the establishment for at least 15 minutes.

“The most important message here is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle,” said Dr. Michael Warren, Director of Maternal and Child Health at the Tennessee Department of Health.

“This time of year the temperature of a car can reach well over 100 F in just a matter of minutes,” said Dr. Warren, “and it can be fatal. Being in a car alone is no place for a child.”

Patrolman Huckabee was quite upset with the woman responsible for leaving the children unattended and said, “When people do this they just don’t think about the consequences of what they’re doing and what could happen to their children.”

Huckabee stressed that it is much too hot to leave a child in a car alone, and his statements were supported by Dr. Warren.

“If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 or call the police,” said Warren. “If the child appears to be in distress, then they need to get the child out as quickly as possible.”

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