July 15, 2022 – A 3-year-old boy found unresponsive and died after being left in a hot car, underscoring the dangers of leaving children alone in cars as temperatures rise.
The child was found Monday outside the Lubavitch Education Center in Miami Gardens, Florida, the school where both his parents work. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner confirmed the cause of death as hyperthermia or abnormally high temperature and ruled the death an accident. according to miami heraldTemperatures in South Florida soared to 93 degrees Fahrenheit with a heat index of 103 at the time of the child’s death, the report said.
“This is at least the 11th child to die in a hot car this year,” said Amber Rollins, director of Children and Car Safety, a group that protects children and pets in and around cars . “These are foreseeable and preventable tragedies.”
No charges have been laid as the investigation continues.
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An average of 38 children under the age of 15 die each year heart disease After being left in the car, according to noheatstroke.org. While heat-related illnesses can affect anyone, children are at higher risk because their bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults. Since 1998, at least 917 children have died from heatstroke in cars, according to noheatstroke.org data created by Jan Null of San Jose State University’s Department of Meteorology and Climate Sciences.
That, coupled with the fact that the temperature inside a car can rise by 80 percent in 10 minutes, makes cars an especially dangerous place for children, says Janette Fennell, president and founder of Kids and Car Safety.The extreme temperature spike proved fatal when a child’s internal body temperature reached 107 degrees Fahrenheit, which can happen within minutes, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Many states have Good Samaritan laws that protect those who take action to help children left in their cars. If you see a child left in the car, the agency recommends:
- Make sure the child is okay and responsive. If there is no response, please call 911 immediately.
- If the child is unresponsive, try to get in the car to help the child, even by breaking the window.
- Try to get another person to find the child’s guardian.
Leaving a child in an enclosed vehicle can be fatal, even in mild climates.For example, the most recent one Consumer Reports test It was found that on a 61-degree day, the temperature inside the enclosed car reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour.
“It doesn’t have to be a particularly hot day, because cars are like greenhouses and heat up very quickly,” Rollins said. “You have a recipe for disaster in a very short time.”
One of the solutions to this problem, Fennell and Rollins said, lies in technology, particularly in procedures such as passenger detection, which can sound an alarm if someone is left in a vehicle.
“We will continue to see hot car deaths until we detect passengers,” Rollins said. “It can happen to anyone, even the most caring and responsible parent, just by forgetting a day or a distraction.”
In addition to technology, parents should also get into the habit of checking the back seat and locking parked cars to keep curious kids from breaking in. Experts also say it’s good practice to leave a phone or bag in the back seat, which forces parents to turn around and check their back when they arrive at their destination.
“We need to raise awareness and educate parents to take these steps so this doesn’t happen to their families,” Fennell said. “People like to make monsters out of people who have it happening, but it absolutely can and does happen to everyone.”