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Kids and Car Safety lists death of 1-year-old child as heat-related

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - 1-year-old Joseph Everett is dead after being left in a car for hours in Shreveport. It happened Thursday, Oct. 7 at a mobile home park on W Bert Kouns Industrial Loop.

While police are still investigating whether the incident is possibly heat-related, Kids and Car Safety lists Everett’s death as the 23rd child hot car death in the United States, and the third in Louisiana in 2021.

Amber Rollins of Kids and Car Safety said children get left in cars for a number of reasons, one being a change in daily routine.

“When children are unknowingly left, most of the time they were being dropped off at daycare or you know some child care provider, and that daycare drop off was missed by the parent and the child ended up in the vehicle all day,” she said.

Rollins says these situations can happen to anyone.

“It doesn’t discriminate. It happens to people of all different walks of life. Across the board it is a function of our human memory systems not working,” she said.

Experts say some ways you can prevent leaving a child in a car is by putting something you need for the day, like a purse, a wallet, or a phone in, in the backseat of the car. That way you make sure to look there before leaving your car.

Doctors say leaving children unattended in a hot car can be detrimental to their health, and lead to death.

“It takes about an hour in a hot car, two hours in the shade, that was a lot of the documentation says for a child to develop a heat stroke when left unattended in a car,” said Dr. Wanda Thomas, associate professor of pediatrics and associate dean for admissions at LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine. “It gets really hot in cars and oftentimes, when children are left in a car unattended, the windows are up. And if the car is out in the sun and not in the shade, the temperature is going to rise really quickly.”

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