Some people need to be told not to leave their children in cars. Unattended. With a humidex in the 30s. Strapped into a car seat. Like this Quebec City couple who left their toddler alone for over 30 minutes while they shopped.
But hey! At least they left the car doors open, right...?
In Canada, there are surprisingly few specific laws against leaving a child in a car unattended, but parents cant still end up doing serious jail time.
This is what will happen if you leave a child unattended in a hot car in Canada.
Quebec is currently the only province with an age limit for leaving children alone in a vehicle (they must be at least seven years old). Fines are low, a paltry $60.
But depending on where you reside in Canada police can and will charge you under traffic acts and child welfare rules if they believe the child was in danger. Those laws could be anything from an unwillingness to supervise, inadequate care provision, or child abandonment.
Under Canada’s Criminal Code Section 218, Child abandonment laws can be applied when anyone unlawfully endangers a child's (under the age of 10 years old) wellbeing. So leaving a youngster alone in a car on a hot day would definitely fall into that category.
Found guilty, that could be up to 5 years in prison and in Quebec, fines ranging from $60 to $5000.
With the heatwave descending on Montreal, this is an especially dangerous time to leave your kids alone in a vehicle.
Children are particularly vulnerable to health risks like heat stroke: a child's body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult's. And just think how quickly and how high temperatures rise in a car, even with the windows cracked.
If you see a child left unattended in a car, always look to see if the parents are around, stay with the child and call 911.