A late-season heat wave across parts of the heartland and the South caused deadly consequences, with at least three children reported dying in hot-car-related incidents, according to the non-profit group KidsAndCars.org.
On Tuesday, incidents of hot-car-related deaths were reported in Texas, Florida and Alabama.
Temperatures in the 80s in and 90s across the Southeast caused the feel-like temperatures to rise to well over 100 degrees in many communities.
Medical experts said a child’s bodily systems can begin to shut down in as few as 20 minutes in a car without proper ventilation.
A spokesperson for Kids and Car Safety said vehicle occupant detection technology could have saved all three children that died during the heat wave.
"When we talk about occupant detection systems, we typically think of how this can prevent hot car deaths," Janette Fennell, president and founder of Kids and Car Safety said in a statement." However, what most people don’t realize is that occupant detection can also eliminate a number of other common child vehicle injuries and deaths, including cars stolen with children alone inside, power window and seat belt strangulation, vehicles being knocked into gear and the many other things that go wrong when a child is alone in a vehicle."
The National Safety Council reports 28 deaths have occurred so far in 2022 from children being left unattended in vehicles.
The Houston Police Department said a 2-year-old boy was found dead inside an SUV that was stolen on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the incident started before 2 p.m. when a gunman shot and killed the father and took off in the vehicle with the child inside.
It wasn’t until around 7 p.m. that the vehicle was found with the unresponsive child inside.
The Houston Police Department continues to search for the suspect who is wanted in the double homicide case.
Air temperatures were reported to be around 94 degrees.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported an 8-month-old girl died after being left in a hot car for around an hour.
Law enforcement’s initial investigation showed the father parked his car to do work before he remembered she was in the back seat and ran to get her.
When first responders arrived, they reported the child was unresponsive and was taken to a local medical center, where she was pronounced dead.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the case.
Air temperatures were reported to be around 88 degrees.
NoHeatStroke.Org reports a 2-year-old boy was discovered in a vehicle outside of a daycare around 3 p.m. Tuesday in Blount County, Alabama.
Local authorities said the child was not under the supervision of the daycare facility at the time and was found by a family member.
Police believe the boy was in the car for an extended time.
The Oneonta Police Department continues to investigate the case.
Air temperatures were reported to be around 96 degrees.
How to prevent tragedy
The council estimated on average 38 children die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said if you see a child alone in a car, there are a series of life-saving steps to perform to prevent injury or even death.
Suggested actions include:
- Calling 911
- Getting the child out of the car
- Spraying the child with cool water to bring help to reduce their temperature
- Stay with the child until first responders arrive