HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Detectives are investigating the death of an 8-month-old baby boy who was left in a car for a long period of time.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office reported the preliminary investigation determined the child was unintentionally left inside the vehicle Wednesday from around 8 a.m. until he was tragically discovered around 4:30 p.m.
"Sadly, the baby was found unresponsive inside of the vehicle - outside of the daycare after the child's guardian arrived to pick him up. The child's guardian thought she had dropped the child off at daycare on her way to work yesterday morning, however, she never did," states a press release from the TPSO. "When the female went to pick up the child yesterday afternoon, the baby was not there. She returned to her vehicle and discovered the infant in the back seat, still in his car seat. Subsequently, the child was pronounced dead at the scene."
Reports indicate the temperature got as hot as 90 degrees in Hammond on Wednesday.
Officials say the daycare is not at fault and there are "no reports of wrongdoing as it relates to the daycare center."
"The guardian has been very cooperative and working with detectives. She's obviously distraught. This is a tragic situation and that's why we remind parents all the time that tragedies like this aren't supposed to happen but they do," Edwards said. "So, we just want to make sure that people understand to take extra care, especially during the summer. And of course, all times of the year, make sure you know where your children are."?
Officials are urging parents and caregivers to take the following precautions to prevent such an incident in the future:
- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away;
- Ask the childcare provider to call if the child doesn't show up for care as expected;
- Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver's view to indicate a child is in the car seat.