An 11-month-old child in Tallahassee, Florida, died after being left inside a parked car for an “extended period of time”, local authorities reported.
On Tuesday, the Tallahassee Police Department confirmed in a tweet that the force would be conducting a death investigation into the infant’s death, which occurred in the 1700 block of Mahan Center Boulevard of Florida’s capital city.
“The child was left in a parked vehicle for an extended period of time and sadly succumbed to his injuries,” the TPD tweeted Tuesday afternoon, when the highs for the day in the city were expected to top out in the lower 90s Fahrenheit.
The child inside the car was reportedly called in by employees at the local hospice facility called Big Bend Hospice, where the vehicle had reportedly been parked.
Heather Merritt, a spokesperson for the TPD, confirmed to local newspaper the Tallahassee Democrat that the employees were responsible for calling 911, and that the force could not confirm whether the child’s death had been caused by heatstroke.
On average, 37 children die each year in the US from heatstroke caused by being left inside cars.
So far this year, 10 children have died from heatstroke brought on from being left inside a car, most of whom had been unknowingly left inside the parked car, according to NoHeatStroke.org.
Just last week, a toddler in South Florida died after being left inside a sweltering vehicle for hours in the parking lot of a preschool where both his parents worked.
The infant’s death in Tallahassee arrives as over 100 million Americans across the country have been issued extreme heat advisories and warnings, spanning across the South and into parts of California and the Northeast.
Experts advise that caretakers should avoid leaving their children in vehicles unattended. NoHeatStroke.org and KidsandCars.org both advise having a plan in place so as to avoid this deadly accident, as a majority of the incidents are caused by caretakers unknowingly leaving their kids behind in the car.
One safety tip they suggest is leaving your briefcase or cell phone in the backseat, so as to act as a reminder to check the back before leaving for the car or creating a “look before you leave” routine whenever you get out of the car.
For parents with kids in daycare or school, they suggest having a plan in place with your childcare provider to place a call as soon as your child doesn’t show up for attendance.