(WMC-TV) – The mother cited after leaving her 5-year-old son in a hot car outside a Memphis pawn shop is now being investigated by the Department of Children's Services. They say this is not the first time it has happened.
LeBonheur Children's Hospital Emergency Room Director Donna Smith says children heat up three to five times faster than adults. At a 104 body temperature, kids start with hallucinations, vomiting, dizziness, and disorientation.
"It's always shocking to see. And you never get immune to that. And it's heartbreaking. That's all I can say, it's just heartbreaking," she said. "A temperature of 107 is lethal. That's when organs shut down. That's when cells break down."
On Wednesday, police were called to the EZ Pawn Shop where a child was left in a car. The child ended up being fine, but the mother was written a misdemeanor citation.
The DCS confirms it has investigated the same family before and they have opened a new investigation.
DCS says these cases are common. And every time, police say the same thing, "You need to make sure the child is safe at all times. It is illegal to leave your child in the car unattended."
"There's several reasons that it happens but there's nothing really that we can excuse because children suffer as a result," said Smith.
Regardless of time, temperature, or circumstances, even if it is as mild as 70 degrees outside, the car interior can get dangerously hot.
It all seems very elementary, but the cases keep piling up anyway.