It Was a Terrible Week for Hot-Car Deaths

3 kids died in the space of a week—a significant spike over same period the year before
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
3 Children Died in Hot Cars Over the Past Week
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / MattGush)

Three children died in hot cars over the past week, pushing the number of such deaths in 2023 to double the number over the same time period in 2022, NBC News reports. (This seminal 2009 article explains how such tragedies can happen accidentally, more easily than you might think.) The heartbreaking details:

  • Puyallup, Washington: A 1-year-old was left in a car when the child's foster mother arrived at work at a hospital around 8am; authorities say she was distracted and forgot the toddler was in the backseat until she got back in the car around 5pm, KING 5 reports. Though the outside temperature was in the low 70s, inside the car it was 110 degrees, CNN reports. While the woman rushed the child into the hospital, the child did not survive.

  • Houston, Texas: Two siblings, ages 2 and 4, were playing outside their home Friday when an adult found them inside a car. "We don’t know how long they were in there, but family members began looking and found them in the car," a police commander says, per Fox 26. Temperatures were in the 80s at the time. The 4-year-old boy was pronounced dead after being rushed to a hospital, but his sister was expected to recover.
  • Palm Bay, Florida: An 11-month-old was discovered unresponsive in a car after having been left there for three hours; the infant's parents were attending church services at the time, and the details of the incident are not yet clear, but WESH reports it appears to have been accidental.
No charges have been filed in any of the deaths, and authorities say the investigations are ongoing. (More child dies in hot car stories.)

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