Children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 13, 2022. It has since been updated
A three-year-old boy's life has come to a tragic end after he was left in a hot car for about six hours. The car was parked outside the Lubavitch Education Center in Miami Gardens, the preschool where both his parents worked. The incident took place on July 11, 2022, according to PEOPLE, when the heat index was 101 degrees and temperatures were 92 degrees. The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner has identified the victim as Sholom Tauber, reports NBC Miami. Tauber's death was determined to be an accident caused by hypothermia.
Officials were first called to the center on a report of an unresponsive child inside a vehicle. He was immediately transported to the nearest hospital where he was declared brought dead. Law enforcement sources said the toddler was one of several children from the same family who attends the preschool where his parents work.
The boy's death is under investigation and police are seeking to access surveillance footage from the school or any nearby buildings through a search warrant, per NBC Miami.
3-Year-Old Boy Dies in Hot Car Outside Fla. Preschool Where Both His Parents Worked https://t.co/Defk46Uphk— People (@people) July 12, 2022
Meanwhile, Rabbi Benzion Korf, dean of Lubavitch Education Center, said in a statement that the boy's parents were staff members at the school.
"We are beyond devastated that we experienced an accident on the Lubavitch Education Center (LEC) campus today involving a private vehicle, which resulted in the untimely passing of the 3-year-old son of two staff members," Korf's statement read. "This tragedy hits close to home, and many in our school community have been affected by it. No words can capture the heartbreak and sadness we feel."
Yesterday afternoon, a 3-year-old died inside a hot car outside an education center, where both of his parents work, near Miami. This is the 10th publicly documented Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH) death in 2022 and the first in Florida. See https://t.co/t4Oph62Hoy pic.twitter.com/VPypeuRxo7— Jan Null (@ggweather) July 12, 2022
On average, 39 children die in a hot car-related death each year in the U.S., according to the nonprofit child safety organization Kids and Car Safety. The organization has reported that more than 1,000 children have died in hot cars since 1990.
Children are more susceptible to heatstroke than adults because their body temperatures increase three to five times more quickly in children than adults, according to Bev Kellner, project director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety and KidSafe Initiatives Project.
In another incident last month, a five-year-old from Texas died after he had been left inside a vehicle for several hours in the sweltering heat as his family prepared for a party. He is the fifth child to die in a hot car in the U.S. this year, reports USA Today.
“I think the No. 1 misconception is that this will never happen to me and that it only happens to bad parents and nothing could be further from the truth.”— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 7, 2022
An expert offers tips on preventing hot car deaths. https://t.co/DrFmqG6Dav pic.twitter.com/UBLUbKzTVH
During the incident, Texas Heatstroke Task Force chair Johnny Humphreys in his email clarified, “Although it does not even have to be a hot summer day for this to happen, about 2/3 of pediatric vehicular heatstroke (PVH) deaths occur during the summer months (according to data from noheatstroke.org).”
Humphreys also specified that 20% of hot-car-related deaths are because a child is knowingly left in a vehicle. “Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke deaths are considered to be 100% preventable,” he added. By making it a regular habit to check your car's backseat every time you park, such incidents can be avoided.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Catherine McQueen