By on August 9, 2015

child inside hot car

A 10-month-old baby is dead after being left alone Thursday inside a hot car in Austin, Texas, KTLA reported. Police haven’t charged the male driver, who was found at the scene, with a crime. It’s unclear how the driver and the baby may have been related.

According to police, employees at a Waffle House spotted the baby around 2:45 p.m. in the car. After calling police, the employees pulled the baby out of the car, which was unlocked, and attempted CPR. Local reports say the temperature was around 98 degrees.

Coroners said the baby died of hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature.

Police say they aren’t sure how long the baby was in the car alone.

The death is a sad reminder how quickly cars can heat up without ventilation and its tragic results.

The Humane Society said that a car can heat up to 120 degrees within 30 minutes if the outside temperature is 85 degrees. Last month, Walmart announced a child seat with a built-in reminder to alert parents of children in the back seat when the ignition is turned off.

(Photo courtesy Austin American-Statesman)

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50 Comments on “Baby Dies After Being Left Alone Inside Hot Car...”

  • avatar

    ban parking lots. ban procreation. ban cars. ban oxygen.

  • avatar

    Is this what it has come to? A reminder to the parent that their kid is in the back seat when the ignition is turned off! I wish memes could be shown here, but to quote Futurama: I don’t want to live on this planet any more.

  • avatar

    The parenting skills of this society are the reason we have so many problems.

    Plain and simple, these are the most untrustworthy, irresponsible idiots I ever imagined drawing breath.

    and I’m sick and tired of jailing people. Take the ones responsible, toss em in the car and let em ROAST.

    • 0 avatar

      Letting them roast their offspring, works just as well. Just with a bit of a delay. It’s plenty cheaper and less acrimonious, too. And renders the temptation to support some police state less acute. A win on all fronts, IOW. Like freedom always is.

  • avatar

    I’d be interested to see how many of these tragic events happened before the widespread use of air conditioning in cars. In 1960 in Houston, people would have left their car windows open most of the time, particularly if it was 98 degrees out.

    “It’s unclear how the driver and the baby may have been related.”

    The only thing more dangerous to a child than its mother’s boyfriend who isn’t its father is its mother.

    • 0 avatar

      Leaving the windows open barely helps when it’s that hot. Baby probably still would have died.

      This guy just proved his inability to be responsible for children. Castration should be the bare minimum punishment.

      • 0 avatar

        Obviously I’m not excusing the behavior, but as long as the child is properly hydrated, 98 degrees shouldn’t be a problem for a healthy baby. There are plenty of places on the planet where that’s a normal temperature and babies do just fine in those places. How cool do you think houses and apartments were in the summertime before the widespread use of refrigerant air conditioning? I grew up in Detroit, which is hardly a southern clime, but it can get into the high 90s or even low triple digits here in the summer. Before my dad figured out how to cool our entire upstairs with one of those A/C units that would be mounted over the door of storefront businesses, the house would still be in the mid to high 80s at night. During the daytime I’m sure that the interior temps of the house were in the 90s. People, including babies, survived for the most part.

        • 0 avatar

          98 degrees outside means that the interior of the car was probably 120+ degrees if the car had been parked in the sun long enough.

        • 0 avatar

          On that note, I’m surprised solar roof panels powering circulation fans when parked hasn’t become more common. They’ve been around forever. I remember Mazda touting it decades ago. I’m sure whoever includes this feature, must be extremely careful not to, in any way shape or form, indicate it could a benefit for those wishing to leave their babies in cars; but if what you are saying is correct, it would be of some benefit for those who leave their babies in cars in hot climates.

      • 0 avatar

        Having his kid killed, seems like a much less contentious punishment.

      • 0 avatar

        You wanna punish the guy?

        Leave everything intact, but never let him have sex again.

    • 0 avatar

      “In 1960 in Houston, people would have left their car windows open most of the time, particularly if it was 98 degrees out.”

      I would also say that some of the windows up/car locked behavior today is a result of the rampant crime and disregard some people have for other people’s possessions that has become the norm not the exception anymore.

      As a soft-top Jeep owner, I leave my doors unlocked in the hopes that some criminal who feels it is his or her right to rummage through my things will at least try the door first instead of slashing my top to gain entry.

      • 0 avatar

        “As a soft-top Jeep owner, I leave my doors unlocked in the hopes that some criminal who feels it is his or her right to rummage through my things will at least try the door first instead of slashing my top to gain entry.”

        I had a ’91 YJ for years m8 and I had two tops slashed from the rear to steal $20 garage sale speakers from the back and a $40 Sony CD deck. Gave up and went bikini top and duster cover from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

    • 0 avatar

      Cooked kiddies have been on the rise since the introduction of air bags and relegating baby seats to the rear. Its also been compounded by distractions such as cell phones.

      The issue isn’t just centered around some aluminum ghetto dwelling slack-jawed knuckle dragging troglodytes fused to their hand held multi-media devices but across the spectrum including some fairly responsible people.

      Prior to air bags and the general idea that kids are safer in the backseat (as anybody who grew up in the 80’s and earlier knows) you had kids in the front seat when possible and in the case of infants you had front child seats or even mothers carrying the baby in her arms or lap making it pretty hard to forget junior. Also since distractions generally didn’t occur until out of the vehicle with the kids in tow the chance of abandoning a child in the car was further reduced.

      I think NPR ran a story on the phenomena but the title and date escapes me if they indeed ran the story. In any event those where the take away points rear child seats and increased distractions.

    • 0 avatar

      …sealed cars make a profound difference, as do restraining harnesses with no mechanism for egress…

      …i always leave my windows cracked in the summer, but i’m very much in the minority in most parking lots, even in the central texas heat..

  • avatar

    Why is this on TTAC? Let’s leave accident reports to the local crappy news.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a follow up to a post I did about a new child car seat from Evenflo and Walmart that tells parents to check the baby seat when they shut off their car.

    • 0 avatar

      Why is this local news on ttac? Because of moronic comments like the first one from jonhowington. pop culture political crap like this post brings out the nut jobs and creates more clicks. Clicks = revenue for ttac.

      • 0 avatar

        “pop culture political crap like this post brings out the nut jobs and creates more clicks. Clicks = revenue for ttac.”

        You must be one of those guys who thinks they have everything in life figured out. I bet your the life of the party too. Tell us more about what you think is important.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    I really need to know the B&B’s insight on this-

    I cannot fathom how this kind of tragedy happens multiple times, every year in this country.

    I’m the father of a five year old. Even now, for errands that take 30 seconds, he ALWAYS CAME OUT OF THE CAR WITH US, as inconvenient as it may have been. My wife and I never left our kid in the car, ever. And we’re in Michigan, the heat index gets lethal inside cars up here too. HOW can ANY PARENT forget their child??

    This story is covered multiple times every summer-how can anyone claim ignorance of how dangerous this is?

    What causes ignorance of this magnitude?

    I’m unable to just shake my head and move on from this issue-really, I am needing your input as to how this happens.

    • 0 avatar

      “Male adult chimpanzees, however, have been known to kill young offspring when they fancy an adult female” -CBS News

      It’s not like we’re genetically anything special in the animal kingdom.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I can promise you that 100% of the people who do this would think the same thing you do until it happens to them.

      Edit: rereading your comment it appears you are talking about when someone intentionally leaves their kid in the car. My comment refers to people who accidentally leave their kid in the car.

    • 0 avatar

      “Even now, for errands that take 30 seconds, he ALWAYS CAME OUT OF THE CAR WITH US”

      That’s a wee bit paranoid. It also fails to note that there are other risks of death to which he is being exposed by being removed from the car.

      These stories get a lot of attention, but they are uncommon occurrences. The media gives them a lot of attention, but you don’t hear about the other kids who drowned, fell, were accidentally shot, who accidentally suffocated in their beds, etc., etc., etc.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think it’s paranoid. Also, at that age, it is extremely easy to take the child with you. Infant car seats are typically carriers that locs into a car seat base. It was much easier taking my daughter into the store at 10 months than 2 1/2 years.

    • 0 avatar

      It happens mostly because people’s routine gets disrupted somehow. It’s not ignorance, it’s not thinking ‘oh, that’ll be ok’, it’s not intentional negligence. It is literally forgetting that the child is in the car. Maybe it’s someone who usually doesn’t take the kid to daycare being tasked for it, and forgetting to do so. Maybe it’s someone who usually takes the kid making a special stop beforehand, and focusing on that. It is an undeniable fact that most people (even all the people reading and commenting on this site) drive mostly on autopilot, while they think about other things. When your brain gets that cue that it’s on autopilot, it’s very difficult to break out of it, so if you have usually dropped the kid off before you get on that road, but for some reason this time you haven’t, it’s entirely possible to forget that the kid is back there.

      These are not intentional acts, and however tragic the rest of us think it is, it’s utterly devastating for the person who does it. It’s not an issue of not caring or not paying attention, either. It’s usually just a tragic accident caused by a variation in routine.

      • 0 avatar

        This. I know I’m just like most people in that 4 days a week I come out of my house at roughly the same time and drive to work the exact same route. My job starts early so I’m out before a lot of the traffic gets moving. There are days when I might see only 1 or 2 cars and some joggers on the way. I also live in a neighborhood with a central collection box for outgoing mail, so I’ll take it with me in the morning as it’s a couple blocks from my house. I have to turn into a cul-de-sac to use the box, and only about half the time am I successful in remembering to do so, and this is with my mail sitting in the front passenger’s seat. I end up mailing it on the way home or even the next day I’ll try again going to work. Most of the time I don’t even notice it’s still there until I’m at work and actually go to release my seatbelt. That’s how powerful routine is.

    • 0 avatar

      I always brought my kids in with me too, unless I was pumping gas or using an ATM right next to the car, that kind of thing.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen this over and over: not necessarily kids left in a car, but just wandering around stores unwatched. And for some reason, they seem to think I’m just another (big) kid, so guess who they wander over to? The worst example of neglect I saw was two little ones, left strapped in the back of a top-down convertible, in a parking lot of a cleaners-where the parent(s) were, they could not have seen the car, so if an abductor came along, it would have been over in seconds. Made me wonder if it wasn’t a police sting, it was so insane.

  • avatar

    Not sure I can successfully post this link, but if you have a chance I highly recommend reading this Pulitzer Prize winning article about parents accidentally leaving kids in cars. It might change your perspective on how this happens and what the parents go through.

    “Fatal Distraction” by Gene Weingarten

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you for posting that link. It provides an excellent account of why good parents sometimes do the unthinkable.

      As I posted in the comments of the article on the new Evenflo child car seat – and as mentioned in this Washington Post article, the now-required placement of child car seats in the rear of the vehicle seems to coincide with the supposed rise in these deaths. Add in that vehicles are now locked with a remote control, while a few feet away and often not facing the vehicle, and you have yet another possible cause.

      Then there’s the proliferation of camera-equipped smartphones, social media, and prosecutors who want to appear tough on crime. In other words, it’s a problem that’s always been there, and we now have more opportunities to hear about it.

    • 0 avatar

      I was about to post the very same story. I’m not an emotional guy, and I was crying like a baby when I read that article.

      In short, without more details, it’s impossible to tell if the parent in this case was irresponsible, or just made a tragic mistake.

    • 0 avatar

      Was going to post the same link.

      I’m not sure where I originally saw the quote, but the parent(s) are already suffering a greater punishment than any of us could administer with judgement.

      Kids and Cars is a website worth checking out as well:

  • avatar

    My wife is Dutch and we were listening to Dutch news yesterday. A couple left home and drove an hour and a half before they realized they had left their 3 year old at home. And they only realized it because they heard about it on the radio. Bad parenting is not just a US thing.

  • avatar

    First of all, how the heck is anyone dumb enough to leave any living creature–let alone an INFANT–in a car when it’s nearly 100 degrees out? And secondly, why the frak hasn’t this steaming pile of poop been charged with manslaughter?!

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