Midway through the summer, parents and caretakers continue to leave infants and young children unattended in parked cars, posing a serious hazard to the health and well-being of their dependants.

Police are cracking down on the practice by issuing charges against anyone found to have left an infant or child in such a hazardous situation. Of course, a great number of hazards are posed to a child left unattended, beyond the high mid-summer heat.

On several occasions, car thieves have stolen more than they bargained for, and have abducted children whilst stealing cars. Unattended pets as well as elderly adults are also exposed to serious health risks if left alone in a hot vehicle.

As reported by the CBC, parents in Markham, Ontario recently left their baby unattended in their parked vehicle while shopping near Woodbine Avenue and Highway 7. A passerby noticed the baby crying in the back seat, locked in the vehicle with all windows sealed.

Emergency crews responded to scene and smashed a window to get the baby out. After assessing the baby, paramedics determined it was unharmed, but quite frequently, similar scenarios end in serious medical emergencies, or death.

The parents were located by police approximately half-an-hour after the baby was rescued; both parents were later charged with leaving a child unattended.

In Canadian law, parents or caretakers can be charged under the Child and Family Services Act for leaving any child under the age of 10 unattended.

No errand or inconvenience is worth risking the life of an infant, adult or pet–yet calls to break dependents out of hot vehicles continue to roll in every year, says York Regional Police Constable Laura Nicolle.

“Even just the temperature inside the vehicle alone, it could potentially be life-threatening,” says Constable Nicolle.

“There are so many other circumstances that could happen. Taking your eyes off an infant even for a second is incredibly, incredibly risky.”

(via CBC)