Police Say 29 Children Have Died After Being Left In Hot Cars In 2019 Alone

Helen Storms - Author

Aug. 10 2019, Updated 3:28 p.m. ET

Slowly suffocating in a hot car is one of the most tragic ways imaginable for a young child’s life to end. In addition to the physical suffering, they are most often alone, scared, and likely wondering where their parents are. Why would anyone risk their child’s life to make a trip into the store? Unfortunately, this sometimes happens by mistake, according USA Today.

There are certainly plenty of circumstances when a parent intentionally leaves a child locked in a hot vehicle while they run an errand. Perhaps they think that the child will be okay as long as the window is rolled down and they are only gone a few minutes. However, on a hot day, it doesn’t take long for a child to overheat. If they are young and trapped in a car seat, they have no way of freeing themselves.

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Thus far in August, five children have already died in this tragic way. These deaths span across five different states and the children vary in ages. One victim was a disabled 13-year-old, while another child was a 9-month-old infant. The total number of child deaths from being left in a hot car has reached 29 in 2019 alone.

Law enforcement say that some children pass away after being left in the car on accident. Parents with multiple children that have their arms full might not realize that one of their little ones isn’t with them when they exit the vehicle and head into the store. If the child was asleep at the time, it can be all the more likely their parents might not notice them.

By the time they realize what they’ve done, it’s often too late. There have also been reports of parents accidentally locking their keys in the car along with their baby, and not being able to get help in time.

One particularly disturbing story of a child being left in the car involves a man named Miles Harrison. In 2008, Harrison drove to work and walked into the office having forgotten that his baby was in the backseat and that he was supposed to take the child to daycare. It was 5 p.m. before he realized his child was in the car. The baby had passed away.

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Vehicle manufacturers are planning to create alert systems that remind parents to check to be sure they have all their kids before leaving the car.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut has strongly advocated for this system.

“No automobile maker can complain that it is either unaffordable or unachievable. It is a matter of pennies and it will save children,” he said.


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