Two little kids lost their lives after being left in a hot car as punishment. This incident happened in Texas, U.S., and is a tragic example of parenting gone horribly wrong.
Toddlers die after being left in hot car
According to a Reuters report, the 24-year-old Texas mum then, Cynthia Randolph, found her 2-year-old daughter Juliet, and 16-month-old son Cavanaugh playing inside her car. When they refused to get out in spite of being asked to do so, she decided to teach them a lesson.
A statement released by the sheriff’s office reveals that, Randolph “shut the car door to teach Juliet a lesson, thinking she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.”
What happened next, however, is crazy and horrifying. Randolph went inside the house, smoked marijuana and took a nap for close to 3 hours. When she finally woke up, it was too late – the kids were lying motionless in the car.
The temperature was close to 36°C that day, and emergency personnel who arrived pronounced the children dead at the scene.
Cynthia Randolph had been arrested on two counts of causing serious bodily injury to a child. Apparently, she had earlier lied that she was folding laundry and watching television at home when the mishap happened.
Our heart bleeds for these little children who lost their lives in such a sad way…
The dangers of kids being left in hot cars
It is every parent’s worst nightmare, to realise that his/her her child was forgotten in a hot car; to arrive at the daycare only to realise that her baby never made it there in the first place.
In the U.S. alone, about 37 children die in hot cars each year. It may be tempting to leave the kids in the car while you make that quick trip to the store, but here is why it can be dangerous:
- A child’s body heats up to 4 times faster than an adult’s.
- Cars heat up quickly! In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise by 19 degrees above the outdoor temperature.
- Heat stroke or hyperthermia can happen when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough. Heatstroke occurs when a person’s body temperature exceeds 42°c. Especially for children, at 42ºc, their body begins to shut down; cells are damaged and internal organs begin to shut down. This can lead to devastating injury, permanent brain damage or death.
How you can prevent hot car tragedies:
- Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.
- Always look before you lock. Check the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away. Create reminders to check the back seat, by putting something important next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse or cell phone.
- Keep your car locked when you are not in it so kids don’t gain access. Also make sure that the kids don’t have access to the car keys. Teach your children that cars are not safe places to play.
- If someone else is driving your child, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.
- If you see a child alone in a locked up car, do not wait for too long for the driver to return. Call 995 and alert the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) immediately.
(Editor’s note: While this incident happened over 2 years ago in 2017, these takeaways— dangers and prevention of such disasters—serve as reminders to all.)
Also READ: This little boy died because he was forgotten in his school van
(Source: Reuters, National Safety Council, Safercar.gov)