National Heatstroke Prevention Day Couldn’t Come Sooner

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Toddler sitting in car seat.  (Photo by Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images)

Toddler sitting in car seat. (Photo by Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images)

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It appears a wide range of people are still unaware of the severe harm the sun and it’s heat can cause.  Since we first reported the heart-wrenching news surrounding the death of 22-month old Cooper Harris, numerous reports from across the nation have surfaced describing similar stories — children, left unattended, in hot cars, while mom or dad shops, runs errands, or does whatever they assume is more important than looking after these young, innocent lives.

– In Kansas, a foster dad is facing a first degree murder charge and 20 years behind bars after leaving his 10-month old adopted daughter in the car for 2 hours on a day that reached 90 degrees.

– In Atlanta, a mother of four is facing reckless conduct charges after she left her children, ages 1 through 6, in the car with the windows rolled down for 16 minutes.

– An Arizona mom was arrested for leaving her 2 year and 6 month old sons in the car while she interviewed for a job.

– In Philadelphia, a mother lost custody of her 6-week old baby boy after he was found unattended inside her SUV.

– In Houston, good Samaritans had to shatter the window of a vehicle to save the lives of two children locked inside a jeep on a day that reached 96 degrees!

It only takes ten minutes for a car’s temperature to increase almost 20 degrees on a hot day.  A small child can die from the heat in less than 15 minutes.  Last year, there were over 44 reports of children dying in hot cars. This year, we’ve counted 17, and it’s not even August yet.

National Heat Stroke Prevention Day could not have come sooner.  It’s imperative that we get the message out:

Leaving a life (be it an infant, toddler, teen, senior citizen, or pet) inside of a car on a hot day can be DEADLY, not to mention, it’s ILLEGAL.

A moment of silence for each of the children who lost their lives this year due to the negligence of their parents/guardians…

  • Aurora Hollingsworth, 20 months, North Richland Hills, Tex. – April 22
  • Fernando Velasquez, 4, Bakersfield, Calif. – April 29
  • Sophia Goyeneche-Gray, 13 months, Hartsville, S.C. – May 8
  • Julius Meh, 2, Clarkston, Ga. – May 13
  • Logan Jacobs, 5, Princeton, Ill. – May 25
  • Jeremiah Kennedy, 13 months, Florence, S.C. – May 25
  • Sophia Lea Marie Lyon, 15 months, Dolgeville, N.Y. – June 4
  • Alejandra Hernandez, 2, Sarasota, Fla. – June 8
  • Bella Lindstrom, 4, Flint, Tex. – June 10
  • Mason Ryan Wood, 2 months, Ardmore, Okla. – June 12
  • Anna Marie Lillie, 9 months, Rockledge, Fla. – June 16
  • Cooper Harris, 22 months, Cobb County, Ga. – June 18
  • Logan Cox, 3, Lancaster, S.C. – July 3
  • Hailey Marie Harper, 2, East El Paso, Tex. – July 6
  • Benjamin Seitz, 15 months, Ridgefield, Conn. – July 7
  • Derrick Holmon, 5, Port Huron, Michigan – July 11


Please, let’s not have to make this list any longer.  Take your children WITH YOU.  And for those who tend to forget you have a child riding in the back seat, leave a note on your dashboard or put something you need, like your phone or briefcase, in the back with the child.   I bet you’ll remember to take your “lifeline” with you everywhere you go.

For News and Talk 1380, WAOK, I’m Erica Walker.

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