Baby Dies After Left In Hot Car


POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 3:18pm

UPDATED: Sunday, June 19, 2011 - 1:48am

ALTON- A toddler has died of heat stroke after being left in a hot car and the mother may face manslaughter charges.

The Sheriff's Department say, 17 month-old Barbara Zepeda, was left alone in a car over the weekend. The Sheriff says, the car reached 107 degrees at its peak during the two hour span. The baby girl's body temperature was at 108 when she was admitted to the hospital. 

An Hidalgo County Pathologist ruled the death as accidental, but the Sheriff's department is still contemplating filing manslaughter charges against the mother. If charges are filed...she could face up to 20 years in prison.

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If you ever see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately. You do not know how long they have been left alone already and time is of the essence. Do NOT look for the individual who left them there. They are never grateful and usually angry at what they consider your "intrusion". It does not help the child. Call 911. If the window is down or the door is unlocked, proceed to remove the child from the car to cool the body temp down. If you have to, break the window to remove the child.

+Leave a purse/wallet in the back seat with baby so that you must check the rear before exiting.
+Make it a habit to always look in the backseat, even if you are SURE your child isn't there. In some cases, the other parent places the child in the spouse's car unbeknownst to the spouse/driver.
+Support legislation requiring car makers to install child alert devices in all vehicles.

Sometimes, leaving them alone is unintentional, a horrible consequence of an overworked parent forgetting they have the child with them or really thinking they dropped the child off at daycare when in fact they hadn't. No matter how it happens, it's unacceptable, especially as it's preventable. There are many safety measures one can take to make sure this never happens to them.

Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, not even for a minute. The risks are too great. Sometimes, people think they'll be "just a minute" and either don't realize how little time it takes for a tragedy to occur or they forget, get sidetracked, and by the time they remember it's far too late. Even on mild days, car interiors can heat up 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. In just 15 minutes a child can succumb to heat stroke and die. Is that errand really worth it?

I guess the new fad is that if you want to get rid of your children and get away with it, like everyone else has so far, is to just wait and watch the weather and plan your escape. Leave your child securely strapped in the car seat in 90 degree temperature, but don't forget your purse because theifs will break your window or your phone which could melt, and then after a reasonable amount of time claim, "Ooops, I forgot my baby but it was an accident." And you are suddenly child & jail free.

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