Tragedy was diverted Monday afternoon at Walmart when an eight-month-old child was locked up inside a vehicle. Police say at the time they rescued the child, the temperature was 89 degrees.
Two women were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment. It is unclear if the women left the child intentionally in the vehicle, or simply forgot the child was there. Honestly, it’s hard to believe they could simply forget the child was there.
Nationally, in 2018, 52 children died after being trapped inside an overheated vehicle. Since 1998, 805 children have died in hot cars, more than half under the age of 2.
According to the National Safety Council, even with windows left slightly open, the temperature inside a car can increase by 20 degrees in 10 minutes, 50 degrees in half-hour, causing heatstroke.
Data shows that 53% of the time the driver of the vehicle forgot a child was in the back seat. That is sad, in itself. Currently, at least 19 states have a law against leaving a child alone in a car.
Alabama needs to join that list. As for parents, especially new parents, put something you will need in the backseat, so you will have to open the back door. That will remind you the child is there.
There are also car seat monitors and various apps that can be programmed for reminders.
In the case Monday, thankfully Scottsboro police officers handled it quickly, and the child was fine.
Next time could be different.