DAKOTA DUNES | Authorities said warm clothing and a sunny sky helped a 2-year-old girl survive nine hours alone in a car outside her mother’s workplace Tuesday.
The girl, from South Sioux City, was left in her mother’s car from the time the woman went to work at 8 a.m. to when the girl’s father discovered she wasn't at daycare at approximately 5 p.m., according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
The girl was treated and released from Mercy Medical Center - Sioux City, deputies said.
Deputies said the mother didn’t realize her daughter was left in the car until the girl’s father called her.
“She seemed pretty distraught over it,” said Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges.
The woman has not been charged. Union County State’s Attorney Jerry Miller will review the case to decide if charges will be filed.
Deputies have investigated reports of children accidentally locked in cars or left inside cars while parents went inside businesses, but Limoges didn’t recall any incidents as long as Tuesday’s.
The high temperature in Sioux City was 19 degrees Tuesday.
Limoges said the girl, who was in a car seat, was dressed for the weather. The sunny day and lack of wind probably helped keep her warm enough to avoid tragedy, he said.
State social services were called. The child was sent home with her parents, Limoges said.
Several advocacy groups warn of the dangers -- usually heatstroke on warm days -- to young children or infants accidentally left in cars.
The Sioux City Police Department issued a public plea to parents and guardians to be careful after three children were left in cars in one week in July 2012. None of the children were seriously harmed. No one was charged.