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11-month-old girl dies in hot car while parents attend 3-hour Florida church service

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Police have reported that an 11-month-old girl died after being left in a hot car on Sunday while her parents attended a 3-hour church service in Palm Bay, Fla.

The Palm Bay Police Department received a notification about an unresponsive infant found inside a car at around 1 p.m. local time on Sunday.

In a statement, the Palm Bay Police Department revealed that the baby had been in the car for approximately three hours while her parents attended a religious ceremony.

As soon as she was discovered, the 11-month-old girl was quickly transported to the Palm Bay Community Hospital, but was pronounced dead.

The temperature in Palm Bay reached about 30°C on Sunday when the baby was left alone in the car.

The 11-month-old child and her parents have not been publicly identified.

The police are currently investigating the incident.

The temperature inside a car can increase rapidly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the temperature inside a car can reach up to 46°C in just one day when the outside temperature is only 20°C.

The 11-month-old girl is the latest case of a child dying in a hot car due to heat in the United States in recent days.

A 4-year-old boy died in Houston, Texas, on Friday evening after being found in a parked car. The temperature in Houston on that day was around 27°C.

Prior to that, a 1-year-old child was discovered dead in a parked car outside the Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Wash. The baby was left in the car on May 24 while the foster mother, who was a hospital social worker, worked a nine-hour shift. After dropping off her other children, the guardian admitted that she had forgotten about the one-year-old in the car before she went to work. The temperature in Puyallup also soared to 27°C on that particular day.

Preventing hot car deaths

Never leave children and pets alone in a car on hot days.

Transport Canada issues a stern warning, stating that an alarming number of children in Canada have tragically lost their lives due to heat-related incidents resulting from being left alone in hot vehicles. However, the organization firmly believes that these heart-wrenching fatalities are entirely preventable.

The department has proposed several strategies for parents to prevent children from dying in hot cars, including:

  • Leaving the car keys or mobile phone in the back seat to remind parents that their child is in the car;
  • Keeping the car keys out of reach of children to prevent them from entering the car alone;
  • Placing the child’s diaper bag or other items in the front seat to remind parents that their child is in the car;
  • Teaching children that cars are not a playground. A 2019 study revealed that, on average, one child in Canada dies each year from being left in a hot car.
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