In another hot car death this summer, this time in Dallas, a child died after being left in a hot car for 45 minutes while his family attended church, KDFW (Dallas) is reporting.
The 3-year-old boy’s family arrived at Sunday afternoon services at Rehoboth Praise Assembly in separate vehicles, and then went their separate ways, kids to children’s services and parents to adult services. Church member Reng Om explained to KTVT (Dallas) that the children’s service lasts about 45 minutes, and then the families are reunited for the remainder of the service.
“Every kid comes out to the main service room, and they would read the Bible and singing, and they would go back into that room.”
When they realized that only four their five kids were inside the church, they began frantically searching for the missing kid. Eventually, they realized, to their horror, that they had left the boy inside one of the family’s vehicles. The father, who speaks little English, rushed into the church with the boy and tried to get someone to call 911, as Om explains.
“We don’t know. We didn’t see. He just bring into the building inside, and we saw it and get the people, we need to help and call 911. He was very… looked like bad. He was grabbing his kid, and the kid would not move, and, ‘I need somebody help, call the police.'”
An emergency response team arrived, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
— WFAA-TV (@wfaachannel8) July 24, 2016
Depending on temperature and weather conditions, a child (or a pet) can die inside of a hot car in as little as 15 minutes. The temperature in Dallas on Sunday reached upwards of 100 degrees.
— Betty C. Jung (@bettycjung) July 20, 2016
The Dallas toddler was the 21st child to die in a hot car this summer, nearly twice the number of kids who had died in hot cars by this time last year, according to KTXL (Sacramento). On Friday, as reported by the Inquisitr, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania girl, who has since been identified as Samaria Motyka, died after being left in a hot car while her caregiver went to work. She had been trapped in a hot car for several hours as the temperature reached upwards of 95 degrees.
Also, last week, as reported by the Inquisitr, an Arkansas woman deliberately left her four-month-old infant daughter in the back seat of her car while she and her family ate pizza. The woman would later say that the infant was sleeping and she didn’t want to wake her up.
Fortunately, the Arkansas baby survived, but other children aren’t so lucky. On average, 37 children die in hot cars each year. Over 680 kids have died in hot cars since 1998, when child safety advocate Jan Null began keeping track, according to The Washington Post.
The reasons people leave their kids in hot cars are legion. Some believe it’s safe to do so for a short period of time while they run a couple of errands. In at least one case, a parent left their child to die in a hot car as a deliberate act of murder. But most commonly, the reason parents leave their kids in hot cars is because, whether due to distraction or other factors, they simply forget that their kids are in the car.
Child safety advocates suggest using a visual reminder that there is a kid in your car so you’ll be reminded that he’s there should he be quiet or fall asleep. One suggestion would be to keep a stuffed animal in the child’s car seat and put it in your passenger seat when a child is strapped into it. That way, when you stop your car, you’ll see the stuffed toy and be reminded that there is a child in the back of your car.
[Photo by Thinkstock]