Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Yet another child has died after being left in a hot car; toll reaches 19 so far this year

The federal government's top road safety agency marked a disturbing milestone this week.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 19 children have died this year in the United States after being left in hot cars. Two of those deaths have happened in Florida: a 1-year-old in Pinecrest in January and a 2-year-old in Brandon in February, according to the safety administration.

The latest case appears to involve an 11-month-old infant who died in a suburb of Chattanooga, Tenn., after the infant's father left him in the car for an unspecified amount of time, local media reported.

At least two children die per week in hot vehicles on average during the summer months, the National Safety Council says.

RELATED COVERAGE: What kind of person leaves a child in a hot car to die?

The process can be swift: In less than an hour, the temperature in a closed vehicle can climb to dangerous levels when it's no hotter than 70 degrees outside. Young children and infants are especially vulnerable to hyperthermia because the body's ability to regulate temperature isn't yet fully developed in children younger than 4.

The majority of children who die of heat-related complications from being inside a hot car were left there by parents who forgot about them. But a startling number — 17 percent -—died because they were left in those vehicles intentionally. Thirty-nine children died of heatstroke after being left in vehicles in 2016, up from 24 in the previous year, NHTSA reported. The agency didn't say why the increase might have occurred.

RELATED COVERAGE: 5 tips to help prevent leaving your child in a hot car

The incidence of children dying of hyperthermia began to climb in the 1990s when safety experts found that front-seat air bags posed a risk to small children and recommended that parents put their children in the back seat.

NHTSA, the National Safety Council and other organizations have tried to raise awareness of the dangers, with campaigns reminding motorists to "Look Before You Lock."

Rep. Ted Ryan, R-Ohio, has introduced legislation that would require automakers to equip vehicles with an alarm that would alert the driver if a child is left in the back seat after the car is turned off. The technology is available in some General Motors vehicles. The National Safety Council is also pushing innovations in car seat design that would use wireless technology to remind the driver when a child is in the rear seat after the vehicle has been turned off.

Yet another child has died after being left in a hot car; toll reaches 19 so far this year 07/13/17 [Last modified: Thursday, July 13, 2017 11:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.