Jessie Anna Colwell, a 31-year-old Bullhead City, is facing four charges after allegedly leaving her two young children in her car while she went into a local bar and had a drink. According to AZfamily.com, Colwell is facing two charges of endangerment and two charges of child abuse per domestic violence, one for each child.
“On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles,” according to KidsAndCars.org. “Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.”
This particular incident doesn’t appear to be the result of an accident or even neglect, but rather a mother’s blatant disregard for her own children’s well-being. According to police officers who responded to the scene, Colwell was inside the bar when they arrived and smelled of alcohol. Her car was unlocked with the keys in the ignition and her two children, ages five and one, remained unharmed inside. It was 91 degrees outside at the time.
“Other than the roof and support pillars, the top half of a car’s passenger compartment is mostly made of glass,” reads the IDQ website, a company specializing in vehicle air-conditioning systems. “Glass allows sunlight to pass through freely. Once inside the car, much of the light is absorbed by the seats and dash turning it into heat. Heat does not easily pass back through glass, so it is trapped inside the car. A parked car will always end up hotter than the air around it—usually much hotter.”
Once they are six months old, babies can be exposed to some sunlight, but SPF 30 sunscreen should be applied to any and all skin. No child should ever be left inside a car alone, though, especially on a hot day in Arizona.