Toddler Dies After Being Left in Hot Car in New Jersey: Reports

May 7, 2019 Updated: May 7, 2019

A toddler died after being left in a car in New Jersey, according to reports on May 7.

Lakewood Township police said they are investigating the death of the nearly 2-year-old girl, NBC New York reported, which added that the girl died at around 2 p.m. local time.

A neighbor made the grisly discovery, sources told the NBC affiliate.

The toddler’s mother attempted to take the girl into a daycare, but she didn’t want to go in before they drove home, the report said.

A source then told the outlet that there was some miscommunication about whether the mother or father would take the girl from the vehicle.

Mayor Meir Lichtenstein said warm temperatures contributed to this girl’s death. “It seems like wonderful parents. They have one other child that is approximately 4 1/2 years old that is also a girl, and they are very saddened,” Lakewood Mayor Meir Lichtenstein told CBS New York. “I was actually at the hospital and I saw the parents. They’re extremely saddened by what happened.”

On May 6, they were in the 70s in the area. On a 70-degree Fahrenheit day, temperatures inside a car can get into the 90s in short while. In 30 minutes, it can reach 100 degrees, NBC noted.

The parents face no criminal charges, and they have not been officially accused of any wrongdoing.

A neighbor spoke out about the case.

“My wife was leaving to work and she walked out and she saw the mother crying holding the baby in her hands,” the neighbor said. “My wife walked in and said call Hatzolah, which is the local EMS, the Jewish EMS.”

He added: “I performed CPR for the first couple minutes until first responders arrived and then they came and took over.”

The neighbor said he saw the car’s front window rolled down.

“They’re loving parents, very devoted parents,” the neighbor said. “It’s gonna take a while to make sense of it and make something out of this, but at this point the community will go forward and be together and strong.”

“It wasn’t all that warm but what happens is sometimes when the sun shines down on a car the inside of the car can … the temperatures can rise and, like I said, that’s probably exactly what law enforcement is trying to ascertain at this time,” Lichtenstein also stated.

Kids and Cars

The U.S. National Safety Council has stated: “Parents and caregivers can act immediately to end these deaths. Even on relatively mild days, temperatures inside vehicles still can reach life-threatening levels in minutes, and cracking the window doesn’t help,” it says.

“The National Safety Council advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. Keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access, and teach them that cars are not play areas. Place a purse, briefcase or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last glance.”

According to experts, children, in particular, are in acute danger when in a vehicle with the windows rolled up on a hot day.

Jan Null, a San Jose State professor and former meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told SFGate that the temperatures inside vehicles heat up rapidly, with the air rising about 19 degrees over whatever the outside temperature is in the first 10 minutes and rising another 10 degrees in the next 10 minutes.

What’s more, Null said the bodies of small children heat up three to five times faster compared to adults.

“So, while you and I could be in a car that’s, say, 109 degrees, an infant or small child would be to the point of entering heat stroke,” he said.

RECOMMENDED