Boy, 5, dies in hot car after his mother rushed home to prepare for daughter’s birthday party
A five-year-old boy died Monday in suburban Texas after his mother left him in a hot car outside their home for hours as she prepared for her other child’s birthday party.
Police said the mother had been shopping for the party with the two children when they returned to the Harris County home, and the mother and the other child, an eight-year-old girl, exited the vehicle and entered the house.
However, the boy remained in the back, still strapped to his seat.
It wasn’t until three o’clock, the officers said, that the mother noticed the boy had been left behind, but by then it was too late.
The tragic incident was reported to the police at 2 p.m. The car was parked outside the family home just outside Houston on a day with temperatures of up to 101 degrees.
The mother, who police say accidentally left the child, has yet to be identified or charged.
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Police said the mother was shopping for the party with the two children when they returned to the home in Harris County, and the mother and the other child exited the vehicle and entered the house, leaving the boy behind. temperatures of three degrees. three hours
The tragic incident was reported to the police at 2 p.m. The car was parked outside the family home in a cul-de-sac just outside Houston on a day when the temperature reached 100 degrees
“Between maybe two to three hours, the mother noticed that the other 5-year-old was not anywhere to be found,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Monday of the incident, which is currently under investigation by his police.
‘She started calling him, but no answer. She frantically ran outside to find that the 5-year-old was still trapped in his car seat.”
The sheriff went on to reveal that the mother told investigators the boy knew how to untie himself and get out of a car, and likely assumed the child was doing just that.
However, Gonzalez said investigators say the black SUV was a rental car and the child’s unfamiliarity with the vehicle’s security locks may have played a role in the incident.
“It appears that the child routinely knows how to disengage from the toddler seat and open the door, but on this occasion that did not happen,” Gonzalez told press who gathered in the normally quiet cul-de-sac on Monday evening.
He added that “the door did not have a child lock or anything like that.”
Harris County Sheriff said investigators believe unfamiliarity with the rental car’s security lock confused the young child and played a role in the incident.
The mother, who police say accidentally left the child, has yet to be identified or charged
Medical investigators have not yet released a cause of death, but Gonzalez said that, given the circumstances, the child likely died of heat stroke.
That afternoon, the temperature in the city of Texas exceeded 100 degrees, while the heat in the enclosed vehicle probably exceeded 120 degrees.
It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature to rise to 113 degrees in a closed car.
According to police, the mother immediately called 911 after discovering the child, who did not respond. Emergency services who arrived on the scene pronounced the child dead.
Amber Rollins, director of nonprofit Kids and Car Safety, reiterated how quickly cars can heat up from the inside at high temperatures.
The normally quiet cul-de-sac in Harris County, just outside of Houston, was overrun by police on Monday after the boy’s body was discovered. He was pronounced dead on the spot
“Most people don’t realize that most of the temperature rise in a car happens within the first 10 minutes,” Rollins said. “Their bodies warm up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult.”
Texas, meanwhile, has the highest number of hot car deaths in the country.
Nationally, the Lone Star State is responsible for 56 percent of accidentally hot cars in the country, and 26 percent of incidents where a child gets in and cannot get out.
Every year, an average of 38 children under the age of 15 die from heat stroke after being left in a car by their parents. statistics from the National Safety Council show.
The majority of deaths from children’s hot cars occur after the child is forgotten by a caregiver.
It is unclear whether the mother will be charged with neglect or manslaughter for the incident. An investigation is currently underway.