Police warn about leaving children in hot cars after first arres - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police warn about leaving children in hot cars after first arrest

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Cedar Rapids police have already arrested one person this year for child endangerment after leaving a baby in a hot car.

According to police, Weston Paul Shetterly, of Marion, left a five-month old infant in the back of his vehicle while he went inside Hobby Lobby on April 18.

Witnesses heard the baby crying and saw it sweating before calling police. Police say it was still crying when they arrived and that it was drenched in sweat. The baby survived and is okay, police said.

Shetterly was arrested and charged with child endangerment. Police say Shetterly told them he left the baby in the car because he didn't want to wake it up.

On the night of the incident, police say temperatures reached into the 70's.

"It might seem a little cool to some people but the inside of a vehicle can heat up like 20 degrees in ten minutes so yeah even if you think it's cool outside, with the sun and the air temperature together it still can make it very hot inside the car," Cedar Rapids Police Officer, Shannon Sampson, said,

The first incident of the year is why police are making an earlier than normal warning about not leaving a child in a hot car.

"Even if they think they're just going to run in for a second to grab something, one minute turns into five minutes, ten minutes, 15 minutes, and then before you know it, it's too late," Sampson said.

Sampson said it's common for parents to forget a baby when a routine is changed or disrupted. She said they recommend leaving a reminder item, such as a wallet or purse, in the backseat with the baby.

Police say if someone see's a child unattended in a hot car to call police immediately.

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