Parents accused of leaving kids locked in hot cars

Folks, don’t leave your small children locked in a car on a hot day.

You’d think this is an obvious maxim of parenting, right up there with “keep the rat poison on the top shelf” and “don’t shake the baby.”

But apparently two parents in San Leandro have never heard this advice.

For the second time since Wednesday, and in the same parking lot, young children were allegedly intentionally left inside cars while their parents shopped at the San Leandro’s Marina Square Shopping Center.

Fortunately, all three youngsters were rescued from the vehicles and their respective parents were arrested for child endangerment and neglect.

In the first incident Wednesday, an Oakland woman allegedly left her four-month-old daughter unattended in a car at around 12:30 p.m. Police responded to call of a child locked in a car, and after searching several stores they found the mother shopping.

According to KGO-TV, the police said the woman “had no logical explanation” for leaving her child in the car. The baby was turned over to the custody of her father and the mother was arrested for child neglect.

The second incident took place Friday, when a man was arrested in the same parking lot, accused of leaving his two children — ages three and four — in a vehicle with the windows rolled up. He was arrested on charges of child endangerment.

San Leandro Police Lt. Randall Brandt told KGO-TV:

“You shouldn’t leave people in a vehicle without air conditioning, or a pet, or anything for that nature.”

According to San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences, at least 32 children in the U.S. died last year from being left in hot cars.

Only 17 percent of cases during the last 13 years involved an adult intentionally leaving the child in the car, while in a majority of cases, the adults claimed they forgot the child was in the car.