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At least three young children across America were killed after being left alone in hot cars in recent days.
The youngest was just 11 months old when she was left alone in a car by her parents while they were attending church in Palm Bay, Florida on Sunday.
A 1 year old was also left inside a vehicle at a hospital in Puyallup, Washington where his foster mother was working, and a 4-year-old boy who was found in an unlocked parked car outside his home in Houston.
The tragedies bring the total number of child hot-car deaths to six — double the number at the same time last year, according to Jan Null, a California meteorologist who tracks such fatalities.
Experts say the situation is only expected to get worse amid hotter-than-average temperatures this summer.
At least three young children across America were killed after being left alone in hot cars in recent days
The tragedies bring the total number of child hot-car deaths to six — double the number at the same time last year
Police in Puyallup, Washington, located just southeast of Tacoma, said they are investigating the death of a 1 year old who was left in a vehicle parked outside the MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, where the child’s foster mother worked.
The woman discovered the child at around 5pm on May 24 after about nine hours, Police Capt. Don Bourbon said.
She immediately rushed the child to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead.
Authorities have suggested that the woman made a tragic mistake, saying the foster mom was distracted enough that morning to forget that the child was with her as temperatures reached 77 degrees.
‘It’s horrifying not only to the family but anyone who’s involved in a child’s death,’ Bourbon told KING 5 News.
A few days later in Houston, Texas, a 4-year-old boy was found in an unlocked parked car with a 2-year-old girl outside his home.
Police said the children were playing outside of their home, and entered the car at some point.
It is unclear how long the children were inside the vehicle as temperatures reached 88 degrees, but at some point the family members went searching for the kids.
They found the boy unconscious in the car at around 4.30pm Friday, and rushed both children to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The 2-year-old girl was expected to survive.
Authorities in Houston, Texas say a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl were found in an unlocked parked car outside their home Friday night
It is unclear how the children got into the car, or how long they were inside while temperatures reached 88 degrees
Then on Sunday, an 11 month old was discovered unresponsive outside the Olives Evangelical Baptist Church in Palm Bay, a city on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
Police say the baby had spent three hours unsupervised in the car while her parents attended church services. High temperatures in the area were at or around the mid-80s.
The child was then rushed to Palm Bay Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
‘This is an unfortunate incident,’ Palm Bay Police Chief Mario Augello said in a statement, ‘and our condolences and prayers go out to the family.
It is unclear whether the parents in the Houston or Palm Bay incidents will face charges.
A 1-year-old in Puyallup, Washington was left in a vehicle parked outside the MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, where his foster mother worked
In Palm Bay, Florida, an 11 month old girl died after she was left inside the car while her parents attended church services
The fatalities have boosted the number of hot-car related deaths this year, after numbers fell during the pandemic when more and more parents were able to work from home.
In 2020, just 25 children died in hot cars, and in 2021, that number decreased to 23, according to data from the United States Department of Transportation. Both those figures are less than half that for 2019, when 53 children died in hot cars.
Last year, NBC News reports, 33 deaths were reported.
Still, hot car deaths by heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children under 14, according to the federal Transportation Department.
Officials say rapidly rising temperatures can cause heat stroke to children who are left in cars, where temperatures can rise by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
Children’s core temperatures also rise three to five times faster than adults, and heat stroke can occur when a body temperature reaches 104 degrees. Death can occur at 107 degrees.
Meteorologists are now warning that the situation may only get more dire as the summer approaches.
The organization Kids and Car Safety has deemed the period from late May through the end of the summer ‘hot car death season’ and says the transition to a new season can bring new routines that distract parents.
‘A change in the normal daily routine and fatigue are the most common contributing factors for a child being unknowingly left behind in a vehicle,’ the organization said in a statement on Tuesday.
And to make matters worse, the US Climate Prediction Center has warned that much of the nation will experience hotter-than-average temperatures through the end of August — especially in the Pacific Northwest, Texas and Florida.
Experts say the best way to prevent leaving a child in the car is to develop routines that always take children into account, no matter if they are in school or overseas.
Null specifically recommends placing a teddy bear on the front passenger seat when children are present.
Others say drivers should place items like briefcases or bagged lunches in the backseat of their car so they will always have to look back there.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk