A 3-year-old boy died Wednesday after he was left in the back of a hot car, police in South Carolina said.
Police officers and EMS were called to a house in Spartanburg around 5:45 p.m. in response to a call about a child left in a vehicle, the Spartanburg Police Department said in a news release. The boy’s mother called 911 after she discovered the child in the backseat of her SUV.
“When officers arrived on scene, they were informed by the parent/guardian that her 3-year-old child was mistakenly left inside of a vehicle,” police said.
Both the parent and EMS tried unsuccessfully to revive the child, according to the release.
The parent told officers she thought the child had been dropped off at daycare with her other children that morning.
Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger told Fox Carolina the child “may have been in the vehicle multiple hours” before he was discovered in the late afternoon.
Police said it “appears to be an accidental heat-related child death” and the investigation is ongoing.
According to KidsAndCars.org, at least 1,000 children have died in hot cars across the U.S. since 1990. There have been six already in 2021, including two in North Carolina.
A 2-year-old died June 24 after being left in a hot car outside an industrial plant in Gastonia, The Charlotte Observer reported. Police called it a “tragic mistake.”
Spartanburg police urged parents not to leave children alone in a vehicle, even if the windows are open and the air conditioning is on.
They also said to check the front and back of a vehicle before walking away, have childcare providers call if a child doesn’t show up as scheduled, and put needed items — such as a purse — in the backseat as a reminder to look.