Mother arrested after children found unresponsive in hot car parked at Walmart
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters #HeatStrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma City Police Department says a metro mother was arrested on 2 charges of child neglect Sunday afternoon after her children were found unconscious in the backseat of a hot car parked at a local Walmart.
According to the incident report, 39-year-old Elizabeta Babb was arrested at the Walmart Supercenter near I-240 and Santa Fe Ave. after her two 2-year-olds were rescued from a hot vehicle in the parking lot.
Police say Walmart security footage shows Babb entered the store with one of the children at 2:22 p.m. before walking back out with the child at 2:28 p.m., deposits the child back in the car and walks back into the store.
While Babb is inside the store, a witness outside crawled through the open sunroof to unlock the car and retrieve the unresponsive children.
According to the report, when roused, one child began crying while the other remained lethargic.
A Walmart security officer put the children into her security vehicle with the air conditioning running.
That security officer told officers the car was hot to the touch and even burned her while she attempted to retrieve the children.
Meanwhile, security officials inside the store were repeating the vehicle’s tag number over the intercom in efforts to have the vehicle owner walk out, but no one did.
At 2:57 p.m., Babb is seen leaving self-checkout and walking outside where her children were being examined by medics.
“When confronted, Babb stated she was only in the store about five minutes,” said the reporting officer.
DHS and OKCPD determined Babb should be arrested on scene during their investigation.
The children’s father and grandmother were contacted to take the children from the scene after their medical evaluation.
First Hot Car Death in 2021 Confirmed as we Approach National Heatstroke Prevention Day
April 29, 2021 – Today it was confirmed that a North Carolina 5-month-old baby lost her little life after being left alone in a hot car last Sunday, April 25. Preliminary findings from the autopsy report point to the cause of death being environmental hyperthermia which is consistent with statements provided by the mother.
Saturday, May 1st is National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Though it is too late for this little girl, we need to double our efforts to focus on education and awareness regarding the dangers of hot cars.
This year, Kids and Car Safety is emphasizing that there are technological solutions to put an end to the devastation seen every year of children and animals dying excruciating deaths in hot cars.
“After more than 20 years of public education, the number of children dying in hot cars has gotten worse, not better,” stated Janette Fennell, president of Kids and Cars Safety. “The years 2018 and 2019 were the worst in history with a total of over 100 children that died in hot cars nationwide,” she continued.
Education and public awareness are important, but not enough. Children will continue to die in hot cars until technological solutions that can sense the presence of a child are standard in all vehicles.
The Hot Cars Act is a federal bill that will be reintroduced in the coming weeks that requires technology that can detect the presence of a child in all new vehicles to prevent hot car injury and death. This technology is readily available and affordable.
“The only thing more tragic than a child or animal dying in a hot car is knowing that there are solutions that exist that could prevent this. By not utilizing available technology to sense a child or pet alone inside a vehicle, we are shamefully allowing this to happen over and over again. The price of inaction is the life of children and that is unacceptable,” said Amber Rollins, Director of Kids and Car Safety.
Nobody believes that a hot car tragedy is going to happen to them or their family until it does. Kids and Car Safety is calling on the public to take action today by learning what to do if they see a child alone in a vehicle. The organization is also encouraging parents to adopt several simple habits to protect their children, even if they believe this could never happen to them.
Look Before You Lock Safety Checklist Create simple habits to help keep your child safe.
Make sure your child is never left alone in a car:
Place the child’s diaper bag or item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue that the child is with you.
Make it a habit of opening the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind. To enforce this habit, place an item that you can’t start your day without in the back seat (employee badge, laptop, phone, handbag, etc.)
Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
Clearly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to thinking someone else removed the child.
Make sure children cannot get into a parked car:
Keep vehicles locked at all times, especially in the garage or driveway. Ask neighbors and visitors to do the same.
Never leave car keys within reach of children.
Use childproofing knob covers and door alarms to prevent children from exiting your home unnoticed.
Teach children to honk the horn or turn on hazard lights if they become stuck inside a car.
If a child is missing, immediately check the inside, floorboards, and trunk of all vehicles in the area carefully, even if they’re locked.
Kids and Car Safety and their safety partners will be sharing posts via social media throughout the day about how child vehicular heatstroke can be prevented with the use of technology. They are calling on the public and media outlets to join in to support this national effort.
Kids and Car Safety has prepared posts, photos, and graphics that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, newsletters, and websites, etc. to help raise awareness about the importance of adding existing technology to vehicles to help end these predictable and preventable hot car fatalities.
Kansas removes lawsuit fear for rescuers of
children, pets trapped in hot cars
Beginning Sunday, good Samaritans in Kansas won’t have to think about getting sued for busting out the window of a hot car to save a child or pet trapped inside.
A new state law underscores that lives are more important than property when it comes to hot cars. Kansas joins 18 states — including Missouri — in giving rescuers legal immunity when they believe a person or a pet is in imminent danger. Two additional states have laws protecting pets only.
Amber Rollins, director of the non-profit Kids and Cars, on Monday demonstrated how a simple device can in seconds shatter the window of a locked vehicle, making rescue possible. Rollins used a disabled SUV at the 129 Auto Parts salvage lot in Spring Hill, Kansas.
A hand-held, spring-loaded device called “resqme” was the only tool she needed. It must be used on a side window because windshields and rear windows are made to not shatter. The device, which shoots a metal pin at the glass, should be applied to a corner of a side window. Applying it to the center of the window will not work.
Regular nail punches available at hardware stores can also be used. In fact, Johnson County MedAct units each carry nail punches. A crowbar or stone or any other implement also can be used.
Some things to consider when busting out a window:
First check to see if the vehicle is locked. Obviously, if it is not the window does not need to be broken.
Use appropriate force against a side window furthest away from the child or animal inside as the glass can fly.
Get the victim to a cool place, remove clothing and apply water.
Stay until emergency responders arrive.
In addition to Kids and Cars, the Kansas law was championed by Safe Kids Kansas and the Humane Society Legislative Fund of Kansas.
Although Kids and Cars is not aware of any case in which a rescuer was later sued for causing property damage to a vehicle, Rollins pointed to a New Mexico hot-car death in which two witnesses told police they saw the victim in distress but did not act.
Rollins keeps two resqmes handy. One is attached to the driver’s seat belt of her car so it will be immediately available to use in escaping if the vehicle becomes submerged in water. The resqme also has a blade to cut the seat belt if necessary.
Rollins keeps her other resqme on her key ring in case she notices a vulnerable child or pet in a hot car.
“A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult,” said Cherie Sage, state coordinator for Safe Kids Kansas. “Their developing bodies are not as efficient at regulating their temperature. When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees major organs begin to shut down. And when that child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees that child can die.”
During Monday’s demonstration, the outside temperature was in the low 80s but the temperature inside the SUV was over 100 degrees. The air inside a vehicle can jump that much in a matter of minutes, even if the windows are partially open, because the windshield has a greenhouse effect.
There have been 18 child deaths in hot cars in the United States so far this year, about par with the average of 37 a year. But there are three other suspected cases this year awaiting autopsy results.
In most cases the parent did not know or simply forgot that their child was in the back seat.
Kids and Cars suggests that parents make a habit of putting their smart phones in the back seat so they will have to go there to retrieve them. Another idea is to keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and move it to the front seat when a child is strapped in to serve as a visible reminder for the parent.
Family Of 1-Year-Old Who Died In Hot Car Had No DCF History
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters
MIAMI, FL – The Department of Children and Families says the family of a 1-year-old who died after being left in a hot car had no history with the child welfare system.
The department has opened a child protective investigation but says all details remain confidential.
DCF Secretary Mike Carroll did release a statement saying,
“My heart goes out to this family who have lost a precious child. It is easy to assume this could never happen to you, but time and time again I see caregivers who let themselves slip into a routine when transporting children and make a fatal mistake when that routine is disrupted. More than half of all child deaths from hot cars are the result of a parent inadvertently leaving the child in their car..”
The case prompted strong words from Miami-Dade Police spokesman, Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “This is something that we, in society, cannot allow to continue to happen. The precious cargo in your car is a child and there is no way that we as parents can forget the precious child in your car. This is happening way too often.”
“No matter how hectic our schedule is, no matter how fast paced our lives are, we can not allow our kids to be put in danger,” said Zabaleta. “We just need to learn how to slow down and concentrate on what we are doing.”
The 1-year-old boy was apparently forgotten in the car Wednesday at a strip mall near Bird Road and 97th Avenue.
The baby’s mother works at a beauty salon in the mall, according to witnesses. They said she was not supposed to work on Wednesday but came in on her day off.
She reportedly came to work at the Forever Young Spa around 9 a.m., parked the car in the back and, at about 12:30 p.m., they heard loud screams and commotion when she found her child.
The baby was a transported to Kendall Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
It was a hot day Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-80s. Temperatures inside the car could’ve reached up to 100°.
Witnesses said the mother was devastated and screaming. She said something along the lines of because of work – this happened.
At this time, it is unclear if there will be any charges related to this incident. Zabaleta said the case is being referred to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office. Witnesses said police have recovered surveillance tape from the scene but it is not being released.
A friend of the family said that family members were too upset to say anything right now.
At the salon, customers said they were upset after hearing the news.
“I can’t imagine anything like this happening,” said Cathy O’Sullivan, who also has children.
Another customer, Shanin Alvarez, said, “This is such a sad story to hear this. I don’t know what happened, if she was distracted or if she is a first-time mother.”
Customer Lidia Gutierrez said, “It is horrible. It is just so sad.” Her friend and another customer, Iala Isarque, said, “I just really have no words to say.”
Following the incident, Carroll did ask parents to find a safety strategy that works for them, suggesting the following:
Be sure to check the back seat every time you leave the vehicle.
Put your purse, briefcase, lunch, etc. in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.
Do not let your children play near vehicles; they may accidentally lock themselves in.
If there is a change in plans and someone else is dropping your kids off, have them call you at drop off so you know everyone made it safely.
For more information on tips to hot car preventions, click here.
On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.
Fortune said investigators were still interviewing the parents to determine exactly what happened. The baby had not been in the church parking lot for hours; Fortune said the car had been elsewhere before the father drove to the church.
She said she didn’t know where the car had been or why it had ended up at the church.
“Everyone is cooperative,” Fortune said. “It’s the death of a child. It’s a tragedy.”
No arrests had been made as of Saturday night, Fortune said.
Family members began gathering at the church to support the parents shortly after it happened.
“It’s shocking, devastating, just sad,” said Zettica Mitchell, who said she was a cousin of the baby’s father. “You feel like it’s something that could happen to anybody.”
She said she had come to the church to support the family, and mentioned hearing about the other baby that had died similarly Friday.
Second death in two days
This death came just 24 hours after 7-month-old Zane Endress died after being left in a car in northeast Phoenix for about four hours, according to Phoenix police.
The boy was in the care of his grandparents at the time, police reported.
These two are the first cases of a child dying in a hot car in Maricopa County this year. There was at least one death last year.
Fortune reminded parents to take time to check their backseats for their children.
“We hear that parents are saying they forgot their babies in their vehicles,” she said. “Take some time, again, to look inside your vehicle … to just avoid these tragedies.”
In October, 5-month-old Israel Sebastian Avila died after being left unattended in a car for about four hours.
The baby’s aunt and her boyfriend had been babysitting the child, according to Peoria police officials. They dropped the baby’s mother off at work and then returned home, reporting that they forgot the baby was in the car until they got back in the car to pick the mother up from work.