Wichita hot car death: Kansas child unattended in car seat

Another child has died from being left unattended in a car in the summer heat. Meanwhile, efforts are building nationwide to raise awareness of child heatstroke deaths and how to prevent them.

By , Associated Press

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    In this Thursday, July 24, 2014 photo police tape surrounds a gray car outside a Wichita, Kan., where a 10-month-old girl died after being left inside a hot car. Authorities said Friday they have arrested the girl's foster parent on suspicion of aggravated endangerment but charges have not been filed.
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Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.

Lt. Todd Ojile said Friday the 29-year-old man was booked on suspicion of aggravated endangerment but has not been charged.

Ojile says the man had "somehow forgotten" leaving the girl in the back seat after picking her up from the baby sitter late Thursday afternoon. He went inside the house with a 5-year-old child but left the baby strapped in the car seat outside.

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No charges are expected against the other foster parent, a 26-year-old man who was inside the house.

Ojile says they didn't remember the child was outside until something on television jogged their memories. The girl had been in the car for about 2 hours.

Wichita heat climbed to 90 degrees Farenheit on Thursday.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, “Cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131° F - 172° F (55° C – 78° C) when outside temperatures are 80° F – 100° F (27° C – 38° C).” 

The “Where’s Baby” campaign was launched Thursday by the NHTSA, including a web page that highlights the risks and consequences of leaving a child unattended in a hot car. 

Nationwide, there have been 18 reported hot car deaths in 2014. Safety organizations are ramping up efforts to promote programs to help parents and caregivers remember children in the back seat. In 2013, there were 44 reported heatstroke-related deaths of children left in cars.

National Heatstroke Prevention Day in Thursday, July 31 and kidsandcars.org and safekids.org will be two organizations among many working with parents, caregivers, and law enforcement to raise awareness about the dangers of kids in cars.

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