PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities in suburban Phoenix found a toddler left alone in a hot car on Wednesday, making it the third incident this month including a case that ended with a 2-year-old boy’s death.
Mesa police spokesman Esteban Flores said officers and firefighters responded to a supermarket parking lot where a 2-year-old girl was in a car by herself.
The emergency responders were able to get to her since the vehicle was unlocked and began treating her, Flores said. But she was hospitalized as a precaution.
The child’s mother came out of the store while she was being treated by firefighters. According to police, the mother said she mistakenly forgot about the girl when she went to do her shopping. The mother did her shopping accompanied by three other children. Two of them were her own kids, Flores said.
According to Flores, the 2-year-old was alone for no more than 15 minutes.
The incident comes two days after 26-year-old Suhaylah K. Shamisddeen was arrested for felony child abuse. Police allege the Phoenix mother left her infant son alone in a hot car Monday while she shopped at a Tempe grocery store. A witness called authorities, who were able to unlock the vehicle and get to the baby.
Last week, James Koryor, 41, was charged with suspicion of manslaughter and child abuse after police say he left his toddler son in a hot car while he went drinking. According to police, Koryor went to a liquor store April 21 with his 2-year-old, bought a bottle of gin, drank it on the way home and fell asleep inside his house.
The child was left behind in the car and later died. Detectives found signs the child had struggled to get out of the vehicle before dying.
The incidents have occurred when outside temperatures in Phoenix have been reaching 90-plus degrees. But the temperature inside a car can climb as much as 20 degrees higher than the outside, according to the nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.
The group, which focuses on preventing motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries of children, estimates 37 children die nationwide every year from heat stroke after being trapped in a vehicle. The organization said Koryor’s son is the first heat-related death the group has recorded this year.