Leaving a child alone in the car is dangerous enough, which is why one Philadelphia area mom left her 6-year-old some protection close at hand: A loaded gun.

Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI-TV Philadelphia that officers found the child in the car around 8:30 p.m. The gun was inches away from the child, on the floor of the car. The gun was no toy either -- it was a .44 caliber handgun with an 8 inch barrel.

Small told CBS Philly that the gun was stainless steel and very shiny. "We're just lucky the child didn't just pick up the weapon and pull the trigger," he told the station.

This mom of the year is now facing child endangerment charges.

Sadly, this is not the first time this week that a parent has left children alone in a car with a loaded weapon. On Monday in Idaho, a 3-year-old shot a 10-month-old baby after the children's mother left them in the vehicle for a minute with a loaded pistol, according to local TV station KTVB. The bullet grazed the baby's cheek near its mouth. The mother may not face charges, though, because the car was in the family's garage and because Idahoans are allowed to carry loaded weapons in their vehicles.

Earlier this month, police searching a car for stolen property found a gun hidden in the lining of a car seat, according to WKRN-TV in Nashville. A baby had been in the seat just moments before. The mother was arrested.

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