A late-season heatwave in parts of the heartland and south caused deadly consequences. At least three children have died in hot car-related incidents, according to the nonprofit group KidsAndCars.org.
Hot car-related deaths were reported in Texas, Florida and Alabama on Tuesday.
Temperatures in the Southeast in the 80s and 90s pushed comfortable temperatures well over 100 degrees in many communities.
Medical experts said a child’s body systems can shut down in as little as 20 minutes in a car without proper ventilation.
A spokesman for Kids and Car Safety said vehicle occupant detection technology could have saved all three children who died during the heatwave.
“When we talk about occupant detection systems, we usually think of how this can prevent fatal accidents in the car,” said Janette Fennell, president and founder of Kids and Car Safety, in a statement. Occupant detection can also prevent a number of other common injuries and fatalities Preventing children in vehicles, including stolen cars with children alone inside, strangulation from power windows and seat belts, vehicles being pushed into an aisle, and many other things that go wrong when a child is alone in a vehicle.”
The National Safety Council reports that so far in 2022 there have been 28 deaths from unsupervised children in vehicles.
COUNTING THE MINUTES: WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE A CHILD LOCKED IN A HOT CAR
The Houston Police Department said a 2-year-old boy was found dead in a stolen SUV Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the incident began before 2 p.m. when a gunman shot the father and drove away with the child in the vehicle.
It was not until 7 p.m. that the vehicle was found with the unresponsive child inside.
The Houston Police Department continues to search for the suspect wanted in the double homicide case.
The air temperature was given as about 94 degrees.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported that an 8-month-old girl died after being left in a hot car for about an hour.
Initial law enforcement investigations revealed that the father had parked his car to work before remembering she was in the back seat and ran to get her.
When first responders arrived, they reported that the child was unresponsive and was taken to a local medical center, where he was pronounced dead.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the case.
The air temperature was given as about 88 degrees.
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NoHeatStroke.Org reports that a 2-year-old boy was discovered in a vehicle outside of a daycare center in Blount County, Alabama around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Local authorities said the child was not under the care of the daycare at the time and was found by a family member.
Police believe the boy was in the car for a long time.
Oneonta Police are continuing to investigate the case.
The air temperature was given as around 96 degrees.
How to prevent tragedy
The council estimates that an average of 38 children die each year from heat stroke after being left in a vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said if you see a child alone in a car, you must take a number of life-saving measures to prevent injury or even death.
Suggested actions include:
- call 911
- get the child out of the car
- Spray the child with cold water to bring down the temperature
- Stay with the child until first responders arrive