Toddler sisters die after being purposely left in car for over 15 hours

Toddler sisters die after being purposely left in car for over 15 hours

The tragedy also serves as a grim reminder to all parents about leaving children in cars, even for a minute or two, in hot weather.

Two toddler sisters – just one and two years of age – have died after their 19-year-old mother purposely left them overnight in her car, according to the Straits Times and CNN

The babies’ Texan mother, Amanda Hawkins, has reportedly been charged with two counts of abandoning or endangering a child.

What happened?

Hawkins and a 16-year-old male friend of hers had taken the children to Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville, says the CNN report.

In hospital, the little ones were deemed to be in “grave condition” and were reportedly sent to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Hawkins, say news reports, told authorities that she, her teenage male friend, and the babies had been near a lake, where the little ones had sniffed flowers before collapsing. Their story was that they believed the little girls had sniffed something poisonous. 

However, authorities did not buy into the story. Following investigations, it was discovered that the toddlers had in fact been left inside Hawkins’ car for 15 hours – from Tuesday night until noon the following day. Hawkins and her male friend, meanwhile were with other friends in a residence, say reports. 

Kerr County Sheriff W.R. “Rusty” Hierholzer, who investigated the case, mentioned that on Wednesday, temperatures had reached over 32 degrees Celsius. 

“She left them in the car — intentionally in the car — while her and the 16-year-old male friend were in the house,” the sheriff said. “They were in the house all night. The male friend for a little bit went to sleep in the car a little while but then went back to the house.”
Reports also mention that those inside the house heard the babies crying, but none of them bothered to investigate. When Hawkins finally took them out of the car the next day around noon, they had both been unconscious. She tried to bathe them at that point but had not thought to rush them to hospital because, she “did not want to get into trouble.”
“This is by far the most horrific case of child endangerment that I have seen in the 37 years that I have been in law enforcement,” Hierholzer, said.
Toddler sisters die after being purposely left in car for over 15 hours

Temperatures inside a closed car can soar rapidly, even if the outside temperature is not too high.


A grim reminder

This mother intentionally left her babies in the car for this long. Perhaps it was her immaturity which led her to think they would be okay. Regardless, no amount of reasoning, blaming or emotion will bring these little angels back to life. 

The tragedy reminds us all to be exceptionally careful of leaving our children, even for a moment, in a car especially during hot days. 

Web MD quotes Christopher Haines, director of pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia as saying: “On a day that is just 72 degrees Fahrenheit [around 22 degrees Celsius), the temperature [inside a car] can increase by 30 to 40 degrees in an hour, and 70% of this increase occurs the first 30 minutes.”

Here are some safety tips to ensure that your child will not suffer in the heat:

Always check before you lock-up the car

  • Ensure all the seats of the vehicle is empty before you lock it up and walk away, do take special note of the back seats.
  • Place a stuffed animal, or any of your child’s toy beside you as a visual cue that your child is in the vehicle.
  • If someone else is fetching your child, make sure that your child reaches the destination safely.

Bear in mind the dangers of heat

  • A car’s internal temperature can rise over 20 degrees in 10 minutes, so do not assume that leaving your children inside for a even short period of time will be okay.
  • The internal temperature of a car does not automatically correspond to that outside. Even if the outside temperature is around 26 degrees, the temperature inside can reach around 35 degrees.
  • A child’s health is in grave danger when his/her body temperature reaches 41 degrees.

theAsianparent is terribly saddened by the death of these two innocent babies. Rest in peace, little ones. 


Straits Times


Images: Facebook. 


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