Child hot car deaths on pace to break U.S. record, group says

A year-and-a-half-year-old girl who was apparently left in her family’s hot Jeep all day died in a hospital Monday evening, CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV reports. Officers and Tampa Fire Rescue were dispatched around 6:24 p.m. after her parents called 911, the station says.

The child safety advocacy group says it was the 50th such death in the U.S. this year, nearing the record of 54, set last year.

She was the fifth child to die in a hot car in Florida this year, KidsAndCars points out, noting that Florida “ranks #2 in the nation based on the number of child hot car deaths, with 98 fatalities since 1992.”

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The girl in Tampa wasn’t breathing, was unconscious and was rushed to an area hospital, police said, adding that she later passed away.

“From what we’ve been able to piece together so far, it looks like it was a busy morning for the family and the child was accidentally left in the car for most of the day,” Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said. “There’s no signs of foul play but we’re investigating to make sure we rule everything out.”

An investigation was ongoing.

KidsAndCars is working with parents of children who’ve died in hot cars to push for passage by Congress of The Hot Cars Act, which would require that all vehicles have technology to help prevent such deaths.

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