A toddler is dead after being left inside a vehicle in Burleson, Texas, on Friday. The child’s parents claim that they didn’t realize the little boy was still in the car.
FOX reports that Kingston Jackson, almost 2 years old, sat inside a car for nearly five hours before his parents realized he was in there. Emergency responders were dispatched to a Burleson apartment complex to help the toddler, but the little boy later died at the hospital.
Burleson Police Sgt. Jae Berg said the incident was likely an accident.
“One family member thought the other family member was taking the child out of the vehicle. When they got back in the vehicle and went home, they discovered the child was still in the vehicle. Even if it’s 60, 70, 80 degrees outside, doesn’t mean the interior of the vehicle can’t get into well over 100 degrees.”
The temperatures in Burleson on Friday reached around 80 degrees. Berg stated that the parents were “hysterical.”
It’s still unclear whether the parents will face charges, but unintentional forgetfulness doesn’t necessarily let parents off the hook in Texas. In fact, according to Corporal Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department, parents or caregivers can face charges of child endangerment even if the child doesn’t get injured while left in the car. In some instances, the child will be taken to Child Protective Services.
“I think a lot of times people don’t realize how hot it is outside and it gets hotter inside the vehicle. A lot of times they don’t realize they’re going to be in there for a few minutes but it ends up being half an hour, an hour, even longer.”
The best method of prevention is to never to leave a child alone in a car, not even for a few minutes. Experts warn that with summer weather ahead, hot car deaths tend to increase, especially if there are any disruptions in normal routines.
The Texas toddler’s death marks the first hot car death for the state in 2017, and the 5th nationwide for the year.
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