LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – According to the Exploited Children's Help Organization, or ECHO, a Louisville children's organization, three children have died in the United States this year after they were left in a hot car. On a bright spring day like Monday morning, the dangers for a child left in a hot car are clear.
"It shows it's 92 degrees in that car," said Lucy Lee as she held a large thermometer that was sitting inside a closed car.
Lee was showing what can happen if a child is left alone.
"It's 70 degrees out today," Lee said, "so the temperature has gone up 22 degrees inside that car during the short time that I've been talking."
Two-year-old Kenton Brown died May 21 after police say his mother left him in the car for hours at a Lyndon apartment complex. The outside temperatures that day reached 87 degrees.
The coroner says preliminary autopsy results showed Kenton died of environmental hyperthermia. Mollie Shouse, Kenton's mother, was arrested and charged with his death. She has pleaded not guilty to murder.
While Lee says the news is heart wrenching, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there are more than two dozen cases like this a year.
In June 2010, 5-month-old Holly Judy died after she was left inside a hot car in Lexington.
In August 2007, Brenda Nesselroad Slaby, an assistant principal at a Cincinnati Middle School, went to work and forgot her daughter was in the car. Slaby's daughter died. Despite public outcry, she was not charged with any crime.
"Often, parents will run inside for a quick errand, and they get distracted. They forget that their sleeping child was out in the car. Our lives are very busy today," Lee said.
"Never, ever, ever leave a child alone in a car," Lee said.
The NHTSA recommends a few tips so you don't leave your child in the car.
They say place something like a briefcase or purse in the backseat with your child so you don't forget they're there.
Make a habit of looking in your vehicle before you leave.
If you see a child alone in a car, call police immediately.