UPDATE: Whitehouse Mother Arrested for Allegedly Leaving Toddler in Hot Car

Whitehouse Mother Arrested for Allegedly Leaving Toddler in Hot Car

TYLER (KYTX) - A Whitehouse woman has been charged with child endangerment for allegedly leaving her toddler in a hot car at a Tyler store Wednesday.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. at the Sam's Club on SSW Loop 323.

Police say the 3-year-old was alone in the car for about an hour, while his mother, 45-year-old Lisa Tang presumably shopped inside the store.

A passerby noticed the child strapped into a car seat, and it just so happened Investigator Cory Hoover with the Smith County District Attorney's Office was in the parking lot at the same time and came to the boy's rescue -- opening an unlocked door and taking the toddler out of the hot car.  

According to the Tyler Police Department, the child was "lethargic" and "ringing wet from sweat."

Police tracked down the boy's mom inside the store, and she allegedly admitted to leaving her son in the car alone for about an hour.

Temperatures reached 85 degrees in Tyler Wednesday, and experts say with the mercury that high, the temperature inside a car can climb to 130 degrees in just an hour.

"I think what people don't realize is how fast the heat inside the car can go up, especially with the windows up and the car locked and a child restrained where there's not ventilation," Dr. Brad Robertson, of Tyler Urgent Care, said. "It can go up 15 to 20 degrees on an 80-degree day in 30 minutes inside the car."

For a small child, that could mean severe injuries or even death.

"It can be fatal -- even as short a time as 30 minutes to an hour," Robertson said. "You can have heatstroke, long-term disabilities from that, severe brain problems. It affects the entire body, metabolism, heart rate."

The boy was checked out at a local hospital and is said to be doing fine.

No one answered the door at Tang's house Wednesday evening, but CBS19 reporter Nina Harrelson spoke to a neighbor who described Tang as a very friendly, good person, and said she can't believe Tang would do something like this.

Tang doesn't appear to have any kind of criminal history.

The child has been temporarily placed with a family friend.

Child Protective Services tell CBS19 that they are investigating, along with the Tyler Police Department.


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