Authorities in Florida reported that a child died after being left in an unheated vehicle in a parking lot of a church on Tuesday. This latest victim added to the tragic number of deaths all across all of the United States.
The police responded at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Preschool around 2.40 p.m. Tuesday in response to a child that was unresponsive. As soon as the officers arrived, they discovered the child dead on the premises according the Jacksonville Beach Police Department
Jacksonville Beach police spokeswoman Tonya Tator told The Florida Times-Union, part of the Network, that the the child, aged 2 years old was left in a private vehicle at the entrance of the church’s parking area.
It’s not known whether the incident occurred by accident and there is no evidence of it. No one is currently in custody according to officers from the department.
“This is a great tragedy,” Tator declared in a report by WJAX-TV. “It affects everybody, it affects not only the parishioners, but it affects the community, it affects the officers.”
This case is among many across the country this year in which children have been killed in hot vehicles after being abandoned by parents or guardians.
Seven children have perished in hot cars within Florida during the year as per Children and Car Safety.
24th child dies in a hot vehicle across the country in 2023.
The most recent death of a child -the 24th child in a row killed in hot vehicle across the country this year, as per Kids and Car Safety -has prompted advocates for safety for children to increase the demands of auto manufacturers to develop detection systems for their automobiles. The devices proposed could be designed to ensure drivers are notified before leaving their vehicles to make sure they check their rear seats to ensure their kids are safe.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is required to pass an order requiring the alert system for new vehicles in November, as per the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Jannette Fennell, director and founder of Kids and Car Safety, believes it won’t be too soon.
“Automakers do not have to wait for the final regulation to be issued requiring technology; they can add occupant detection technology to their vehicles today,” said Fennell in a press release. “And occupant detection and alert system could have gotten assistance to this sweet angel before it was too late.”
What can guardians and parents do to protect themselves from death by hot cars?
In the United States over 1,050 kids have been killed in hot cars since 1990 according to Kids and the Safety of Cars’ database. The majority of children killed in hot vehicles according to the group are 3 years old or less, and the most (56 percent) were not aware of the fact that they were abandoned by their parent or caregiver.
Temperatures are rising across the country this year than in previous years, making children particularly vulnerable.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests a few methods parents can avoid leaving their children in their vehicles particularly on hot days:
Put a vital item they’ll need before they leave, such as the phone or wallet in the back of their car
Never let a child go in a car unattended for any duration of duration.
Your childcare provider should contact you if your child does not arrive at the time is
Make a note or put an animal stuffed in the seat of the passenger in order to make you aware that your child is in the back of the seat.