5-Month-Old Didn’t Reach Day Care, Mother Found Her Dead in Van

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
May 22, 2019 Updated: May 22, 2019

A mother who sent her 5-month-old to a child care facility in Florida didn’t find her there but instead discovered her dead in the day care van a few hours later on May 22.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told The First Coast News that on Wednesday the mother called the Ewing’s Love & Hope Preschool and Academy at 5868 Lenox Ave. to check how her child was doing.

The day care employee told the mother that she has not seen the child. The worried mother then rushed to the child care facility and found her daughter at the backseat of the day care van.

The Sheriff’s Office told the media that the infant was likely on the backseat of the van from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the vehicle was “parked there in the sun.” The day care employee didn’t know about it.

The authorities said in the latest media release on Twitter that they don’t know what the temperature was inside the van and there was no technology to determine that.

The police confirmed that the baby died at 2:53 p.m. and that the first responders were unable to revive her.

“Efforts were made to resuscitate the infant and she was transported to the hospital,” said the statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

The day care has 14 children and nobody else was injured. The authorities said that the investigation is ongoing and the police are figuring out what charges should be filed and against whom.

“Homicide is investigating, interviewing those involved and will coordinate with the State Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate charges and file them as soon as possible,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

The authorities said the death appears to be heat related. “Everyone is reminded not to leave children, pets, or anything else alive in a vehicle in Florida this close to summer,” the statement said.

Hot Car Deaths

According to NoHeatStroke.org, 803 children have died in the United States due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH) since 1998 and all of these deaths were preventable.

Explaining how the heatstroke deaths happen, the organization said: “The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively “transparent” to the sun’s shortwave radiation (yellow in figure below) and are warmed little. However, this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard, steering wheel or seat temperatures often are in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.”

Every year 38 children under the age of 15 die from heat stroke after being left in a vehicle, according to Injury Facts.

In 2018, 52 children died after being left in a hot car. “Research indicates that in more than half of these fatalities, the child was forgotten in the vehicle by a parent or caregiver,” said the Injury Facts.

The number of children who died in hot cars in 2019 has been 8, according to NoHeatStroke.org

Safety Recommendations

Experts said a child should never be left unattended in a vehicle even for a few minutes. Parents should always lock the car and make sure children don’t have any access to get inside.

Parents should let children know that a car is not a place to play around.

“Parents and other caregivers need to be educated that a vehicle is not a babysitter or play area … but it can easily become a tragedy,” said NoHeatStroke.org

The organization recommends that if parents find their child missing, they should first check the pool, then the car, including its trunk.

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