A woman has been charged with neglect after she allegedly left her three young children locked in an extremely hot car for 45 minutes in the centre of Carlisle.
The children, aged between two and eight, were said to have been left amid temperatures of 40C inside the car.
Police said members of the public were alerted to the situation when the children sounded the horn while it was parked in Chapel Street at about midday on Monday. It is thought that the mother, who has not been named by Cumbria Constabulary, had gone to visit a store.
Police removed the children from the vehicle and arrested the woman when she returned. The children did not require hospital treatment but were left in a traumatised state after getting out of the car, a police spokesman said.
The woman, who is in her 20s, will appear before Carlisle magistrates next Monday accused of three counts of neglect.