Another Child Dead in a Hot Car

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRISONBURG, Va -- 22 children have died this summer from being left in hot cars. Three of those here in Virginia. The most recent police say an Alabama girl died after being locked in a parked car for hours.

Alabama police say they received that call at 1:30 in the afternoon, the temperature outside was in the low 90s, a lot like the temperatures we've been seeing here in the Valley.

Erin Stehle, a child safety technician with Harrisonburg Fire Department, says if you see a child locked in a car, call 911.

Stehle says there is enough emergency response in the area someone will respond within minutes.

Under certain circumstances where it is a life or death situation, breaking into the car to get the child would be covered under the Good Samaritan Law.

"If anyone ever sees this in a parking lot, whether it's a pet or a child, call 911 immediately. Even if it's cracked a little bit, i still would. If anyone's ever sat in a car and the windows are only down a little bit, it's still hot, it's only giving you so much air," says Stehle.

Stehle says forgetting a child can happen all too easily and it does happen all too often.

She says with a baby, people can get sleep deprived and their minds wander.

She says a good way to prevent this is to use a reminder, like putting things you need to take with you, such as your purse or cell phone in the back seat.

Stehle says, "It's not these horrible parents, we're all busy, we all wish we had another hour in the day to do things. It's just ordinary people. A lot of the times if you read in the news, it's like I said, ordinary people. It just so happens that that day their mind was wandering and unfortunately it ends in a very traumatic situation."

If you have a blazer jacket or some other type of uniform for work, hang it in the back as your reminder.


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