How You Can Prevent the Next Tragedy

Hot summer temperatures can be dangerous, especially for young children left behind in sweltering vehicles.

Life threatening injuries can take as little as 15 minutes.

Three summers ago a five-month-old baby died in Moorhead after being left in a hot van.

According to 17 percent of heatstroke vehicle deaths resulted by being intentionally being left in a car by an adult.

Moorhead Police say leaving children unattended is the first issue.

“We always have a concern if you have a small child that  cant defends themselves inside of a vehicle that is unoccupied. So that’s a very dangerous situation to put your child in– just leaving them unattended,” says Lt. Tory Jacobson, Moorhead Police.

The biggest reason why children die as a result of a heat stroke in cars is because they were forgotten by their caretakers.

In the last 18 years, 356 children died under that circumstance.

The most recent was in Texas, where a two-year-old boy was left in a hot car in a church parking lot.

“Leaving small children unattended any day of the year. They are our loved ones we have a great responsibility to care for them. Whatever you can do to be mindful that they are with you and not forgotten is something that we preach,” said Jacobson

More than half of the deaths are children under two years old.

North Dakota has had one death from vehicular heatstroke in the last 18 years, while Minnesota has had five.