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Toddler dies in Chesterfield after being left in hot car

It's important that parents and guardians know how to prevent these types of tragedies.

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — An 18-month old boy died on Tuesday in Chesterfield after being left in a hot car for several hours, according to a release from national nonprofit Kids and Car Safety. 

Statistics show that Virginia ranks ninth in the nation for this issue, with at least 36 hot car deaths since 1990. Nationally, this child was the eighth to die this way in 2022. 

“Unfortunately, this is yet another example of why it is extremely important to have effective occupant detection technology as standard equipment in all vehicles as quickly as possible," wrote Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Car Safety.

“Every day that we delay in advancing these cost-effective detection technologies means children are needlessly at risk of dying. An occupant detection and alert system could have gotten assistance to this sweet angel before it was too late,” she continued.

According to the organization, a large majority of parents who leave their children in cars do so unknowingly. 

It's important that parents and guardians stay educated on how to prevent these types of tragedies. Here are some important tips:

  • Make sure your child is never left alone in a car.
  • Place the child’s diaper bag or item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue that you have the child in the car. 
  • Make it a habit of opening the back door every time you park to check.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled. 
  • Announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to mistakes. 
  • Make sure children cannot get into a parked car by themselves: be watchful of the keys and their location. 

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