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3-month-old infant dies after being left in hot car in Washington, D.C.; 15th this year

By Provided by AccuWeather, Accuweather.com
Temperatures in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area climbed to 97 degrees Fahrenheit on the day of the child's death Tuesday, according to weather data. File Photo by Alexas Photos/<a href="https://pixabay.com/service/license/">Pixabay</a>
Temperatures in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area climbed to 97 degrees Fahrenheit on the day of the child's death Tuesday, according to weather data. File Photo by Alexas Photos/Pixabay

Aug. 12 -- A 3-month-old boy died after being left in a hot car in a Washington, D.C., neighborhood this week, marking the 15th such incident involving a young child this year, according to authorities.

D.C. Metropolitan Police identified the infant as Aaron Boyd Jr. They said officers were called to a home in Park View, where Aaron was unconscious and not breathing after he was found unresponsive in a vehicle parked outside.

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The baby was taken to a hospital, but was pronounced dead immediately. It was unclear who had left the infant in the vehicle.

Police say the child's father found him inside the car and that he'd been in the vehicle for as long as two hours. Police believe it was a tragic accident and an autopsy is being performed to determine the cause and manner of death.

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Temperatures in the metropolitan D.C. area climbed to 97 degrees Fahrenheit on the day of the child's death Tuesday, according to AccuWeather data.

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The boy's death came nearly two weeks after a 2-year-old child died in Scranton, Kansas, after being found unresponsive inside a vehicle. Authorities believe the child got into the vehicle on his own.

Experts warn that vehicles can become like an oven within minutes under the hot sun. Data have shown that 80% of the temperature increase inside a vehicle occurs within the first 10 minutes.

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"It's important for families to understand that it doesn't have to be 90 degrees outside for a child to suffer from heatstroke inside of a vehicle," Amber Rollins, director of the national non-profit organization KidsandCars.org, told AccuWeather.

"We've seen children who have died in hot cars on days where the outside temperature was in the 50s or 60s outside, believe it or not, and that's because a vehicle does act like a greenhouse, so it allows that heat to come in through the windows, traps it inside and it's an oven, it heats up very quickly."

Data from the nonprofit National Safety Council show that since 1998, on average, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke nationwide after being left in a vehicle.

Investigators examine a vehicle in Harris County, Texas, where a 5-year-old child died in a hot car on June 20. Photo by AccuWeather

With 15 hot car deaths among children already reported in 2022, that total is more than half of the deaths reported in both 2021 and 2020. The highest number of juvenile hot car deaths reported in a year was 53, a grim mark that was reached in both 2018 and 2019.

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Some of the other child hot car deaths reported this year include:

• A toddler, who died in May after he was left for six hours in a hot vehicle parked outside a daycare center in Memphis, Tennessee.

• A 5-year-old boy who was accidentally left in a car for several hours in June in the Houston area as the family prepared to celebrate his sister's birthday.

• An 11-month-old boy who was left in a hot car in Florida in July.

"Child hot car deaths and injuries are largely misunderstood by the general public, and the majority of parents believe this would never happen to them," KidsandCars.org said in a statement Wednesday.

"In an overwhelming majority of child hot car deaths, it was a loving, responsible parent that unknowingly left the child."

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