If you're like me, you probably don't make a habit of peering inside other people's cars, but after reading this, you just might change your mind. A Georgia mother has been charged with a series of crimes after she allegedly made her 5-year-old son hide under a towel so she could leave him in the car while she went shopping. It was an 89-degree day, and Mary Amber Moore's little boy was left in a car parked in direct sunlight with the windows rolled up tight.
I don't think I need to tell you what could have happened here if it weren't for a nosy passerby.
Moore's son was found crying in the unlocked but sweltering car by a good Samaritan who called 911. He told officers his mom had made him hide in the car so no one would see him.
If it's true, what Moore did was much worse than a parent who accidentally forgets his or her child in the backseat. This sounds like she knew that what she was doing was wrong, and she did it anyway.
Thank goodness for that passerby.
It isn't a stretch to say she (or he) saved that child's life. A hot car left in the sun on a 90 degree day takes just 10 minutes to reach 109 degrees, literally becoming an oven. That kind of temperature can kill a child and has.
But this little boy got lucky. This passerby cared. They obviously had to do some investigating to find this kid hidden under the towel, and they did the right thing.
I've never been put in a position like it, but I'd like to say I'd do the same.
I'll admit it's hard to know what to do.
Do you leave the child in the car and go inside the store, have an announcement made? Do you take the child out of the car and do the same?
People are so unpredictable, you never know if the child's mother or father is going to lash out at you for stepping in, and you don't want to be accuse of trying to kidnap the child.
But what are your other options?
Do you stay with the child, watching them through the window and call 911 on your cellphone? Do you get them out of the car and call 911?
Calling the cops puts a buffer between you and that angry parent, but it carries its own risks -- you are now the person who got a parent in legal trouble. And who knows why the child was there? Was it an accident? An innocent mistake? Or were you dealing with a mom like Moore?
You could stand there and debate the issues with the adults for hours. Your discomfort. The parents. But at the end of the day, none of it matters. The safety of the child matters.
So, yes, I'd be that nosy passerby. I'd get that kid out of the car, and I'd let the chips fall where they may. Better a kid who's alive with a mom who is mad at me than a kid who is dead ...
Have you seen kids left alone in hot cars? What did you do about it?
Image via SubZeroConsciousness/Flickr