A 15-month-old baby girl died while strapped into her car seat in the backseat of her mother’s car while her mom worked all day. When the baby’s mother returned to the car at the end of her workday, she discovered the baby and by that time, it was too late.
While the official cause of death was not immediately known, officials did say they believe the high temperature inside that car was a contributing factor to the death of the baby girl. The mother went to work at the Procter & Gamble Company in Mason, Ohio, leaving her car in the employee parking lot.
Upon returning to her car at the end of her shift at around 5 p.m., the mother placed a call to 911 after finding her baby girl unresponsive. Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office explained the ordeal.
“Even though it wasn’t sweltering hot today, it’s obviously going to be hotter in the car. And certainly a 15-month-old is more susceptible to something like this than an adult”
WCPO reports the mother was weeping on the 911 call after finding her baby in the car. Her words were heart-wrenching.
“My baby just died, my baby just died, my baby just died.” The woman only repeated a few phrases on that call, also saying: “She’s dead. She’s dead, She’s dead. I left her in the car.”
The 911 operator tried to talk the woman through the steps to administer CPR to her toddler, but the weeping mother could only repeat: “She’s dead. She’s already dead.” According to WCPO, the preliminary findings of the autopsy were released later in the day, which indicated the findings were consistent with a “heat-related death.”
According to authorities, no charges were filed against the mother of the child. This is certainly not a rare occurrence, as it seems each summer there are more and more of these fatal mistakes, as evident in the headlines around the nation. What is the answer to bring these horrific accidents to a screeching halt?
Car makers are working on backseat alarms that text the car owner when movement is detected once the car is off. While this is a big step in the right direction, it isn’t an immediate solution for everyone. Not all families have a budget conducive for buying a new car in the near future. Experts in safety offer suggestions of leaving your pocketbook, wallet or even leaving just one of your shoes in the backseat with your child.
This idea goes under the pretense that you won’t leave your car without your belongings, but you might forget your child? That might be a disturbing thought for some, although it is seen as a good idea today. No matter what, if something will safeguard a child from being left behind in a car, then it is a good idea to do it.
The shoe trick is probably the most foolproof way of remembering your child is in the back seat, as USA Today suggested back in 2014. You will go after your shoes the minute you go to step foot on the ground getting out of your car. Not many folks will go to work barefoot, so having to retrieve your shoes sitting nearby your baby, might be the way to go.
USA Today published their article after 44 kids died in 2014 from being left in a hot car. The stats they cited said that dads are three times as likely to leave a child in a hot car. Another disturbing stat was that one-in-four parents of a child younger than three has forgotten their child in a car.
According to the website Kids and Cars, in an article from last month, the average is 37 kids die each year from being left in a hot car. The first thought that usually pops up for most people when hearing a child was forgotten in a car is, “how could anyone possibly forget a child?” But as the article from Kids and Cars conveys, “it happens,” even though it sounds rather crazy.
Today’s world is stressful and people are running against the clock trying to get everything they need to do crammed into their waking hours. When we are overloaded with thoughts, they tend to go into an autopilot-like mode.
It is during this time that leaving a child behind in a car can happen, suggests Kids and Cars. They too suggest leaving a purse or some other belonging in the backseat to remind you.
[Featured Image by Navin Penrat/Shutterstock]