A couple in Wisconsin recently hit the headlines after being arrested and charged for child endangerment. In this case, the couple committed the shocking act of leaving their 9-month old boy alone in a car to shop for sex toys.
While child endangerment cases are nothing new, this case in particular has outraged numerous people due to the irresponsible behaviour of the young parents.
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About the case
Less than a month ago, when the young couple went to shop for vibrators at a sex toy shop at Lover’s Lane in Libertyville, Illinois, they left their 9-month-old infant alone in the car on a swelteringly hot day. The couple has been identified as 20-year-old, Jessica Hurley-Smith, and 18-year-old, Michael Cegers, who are also both the biological parents of the infant.
The couple spent around 20 minutes shopping at the sex toy shop and according to employees working in the shop, the couple did not seem to be in a hurry to get back to their child, but were taking their time looking through the various sex toys.
Police were alerted to the child endangerment situation when they received complaints about a baby who was crying and sweating excessively in a green Toyota Corolla. When questioned by the police on why they left their child alone in the parked car on a hot day, the couple explained it was because ‘no one under the age of 18 was allowed in the store.’
The couple also added that the reason why the engine was not turned on was because ‘it is unlawful to leave a vehicle unattended with the engine idling in Wisconsin.’ The couple has since been charged with child endangerment, and the child was taken straight to Advocate Condell Medical Center.
Child endangerment is more common than not!
Although the couple may be feeling disgruntled over their upcoming legal troubles, they should be thankful that the child was not seriously hurt by the ordeal. According to the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, an average of 37 children die from cases of child endangerment after being left alone in a car on a hot day. The majority of these child endangerment cases are however unintentional and caused by the parents accidentally leaving their child alone in the car due to absent mindedness.
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Dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars
While it is common sense to not leave your young child alone in a car, it is important to understand why leaving children inside cars is dangerous, especially in a humid country like Singapore. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Temperatures rise sharply inside cars on a hot day causing the child to get hurt or even die from overheating. Many parents often underestimate just how fast cars heat up.
2. The child may hurt themselves when they are left unsupervised alone inside the car.
3. If the car is left running with the child alone inside, it is very tempting for people to steal the car. While the loss of the car is lamentable, the loss of your child is even worse.
What’s your take on this couples’ irresponsible behaviour? We’d love to hear from you! For more on car safety tips, watch this video: