Edmonton girl, 3, dies after being left in hot vehicle
Published Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:02PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:49PM EDT
A three-year-old girl in Edmonton has died after allegedly being left alone inside a hot SUV, just one week after a boy in Ontario died in a similar way.
It’s not clear how long the little girl was left unattended outside the family's townhouse, but emergency crews were called to the child’s home just after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Edmonton Police said.
It’s believed the child’s parents first tried to give the child first aid at home before they called for help.
The girl was rushed to Stollery Children’s Hospital but was pronounced dead around 8 p.m.
Homicide detectives are investigating and an autopsy had been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. No charges have been laid.
Edmonton Police Staff Sgt. Scott Jones called the death tragic during a news conference Wednesday morning.
“It’s a horrible tragedy obviously for the family, it’s very difficult for the first responders ... and it’s just another tragic reminder -- we don’t want to keep saying things over and over again -- but when it’s sweltering hot outside, we need to make sure the kids are not anywhere near a vehicle,” he said.
Jones provided no other details about who was caring for the child or how long she was left inside the vehicle.
News of the death came the same day that a funeral was held in Milton, Ont. for a two-year-old boy, who died after being left in a car outside his family home “for an extended period of time.”
No charges have been laid in the death of the boy, Maximus Huyskens.
Also on Tuesday, police were called to a shopping mall in south Edmonton after passersby noticed three children who had been left alone inside a vehicle in the parking lot.
The three boys were aged six, three and 23 months. Emergency services arrived on scene half an hour later and removed the children. They were unharmed and not taken to hospital. But their mother has been charged with three counts of wilfully causing a child to be in need of intervention.
The Edmonton Police Service issued a reminder on its website Tuesday to not leave children unattended in vehicles for any amount of time.
“Leaving a child unattended for any amount of time is very dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the windows are cracked open or if it’s just for a few minutes,” acting Sgt. Barry Fairhurst with the Child at Risk Response Team (CARRT) said in the statement.
The Canada Safety Council says there are no official statistics on how often children die after being left alone in a car, but it estimates there are between four and six such deaths a year in Canada.
The council says temperatures inside a car can soar to 50 degrees Celsius in as little as 10 to 20 minutes. Heatstroke can occur when surrounding temperatures reach about 40 degrees.