Police: Woman arrested after 2 kids left in hot car at Jacksonville hospital

Esther Primack, 29, charged with 2 counts of child neglect

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Georgia woman was arrested Tuesday after she left two children inside a hot car at a hospital on the city's Southside, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

Esther Primack, 29, is charged with two counts of child neglect.

According to her arrest report, Primack went to Memorial Hospital and parked on the top floor of the parking garage, leaving two children in the car in direct sunlight with the engine turned off.

Police said someone saw the children in the car and alerted an off-duty JSO officer, who checked it out and found the older child had gotten out of the car and was walking around the garage.

The report noted the outside temperature was 85 degrees.

According to police, an infant was still in the car, was sweat-soaked and had soiled her diaper.

The baby was rushed to the emergency room, where she had a temperature of 100.7 degrees and had very little saliva in her mouth, the arrest report stated.

Police said the older child was also taken into the hospital. She was hot, but in good health, police said.

The officer checked the surveillance video and, according to the report, determined the children had been left in the car at 10:44 a.m. and were found at 12:30 p.m. -- nearly two hours later.

The officer wrote in the report that Primack had checked herself in for a urinary tract infection and was found in a hospital room, asleep in a chair. She had a third child with her, the report stated.

All three children were placed with the Department of Children and Families.

Primack was booked into the Duval County jail, where she was being held on $50,000 bond as of Wednesday afternoon, online jail records show.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Primack was arrested in 2012 on a charge of cruelty to children.

Doctor: Children should never be left in car for any period of time

Doctors warn parents to never let children out of their sight and never leave them in a car.

"Especially when you're not in a secure environment, like your home, and you know they're safe," said Dr. Ravi Raheja, a pediatrician. "It's really important that they're in your line of sight and you know where they are at all times."

Raheja said Florida law prohibits parents from leaving children unattended in cars.

Florida statute 316.6135 states parents can’t leave children under 6 years old in a car unsupervised for more than 15 minutes. 

"Babies and young kids will heat up three to five times faster than adults or older children," Raheja said. "They get hotter much quicker and they get sicker much quicker."

Raheja said parents should put something such as a purse or briefcase near their child’s car seat so they won’t forget the child when getting out. 

He also warned parents about the dangers of pools.

"It takes less than 10 minutes for kids to drown," Raheja said. "So pools and cars are the two most dangerous areas I always worry about."