Child left in hot car in Puyallup dies
A foster parent left the child in a car outside MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup for nine hours, according to police.

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A 1-year-old child died after being left in a hot car outside MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup on May 24.

A 47-year-old foster parent left the child in the car for nine hours, according to the Puyallup Police Department. The parent works in the hospital’s social services program.

The mother was distracted and forgot the child in the car before going to work, according to Puyallup Police Captain Don Bourbon. When she found the child, she rushed the toddler to Good Samaritan, Bourbon said.

The temperature outside was in the 70s, but it was more than 100 degrees inside the car, according to police detectives.

No arrests have been made. The case is still being investigated.

The department asked people to be aware of the dangers of leaving children and pets inside cars during hot weather.

In 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can heat up by 20 degrees and become deadly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is especially dangerous for children, because a child’s body temperature rises more quickly than an adult’s, according to the administration.

In 2022, 33 children died of heatstroke in cars, according to the NHTSA.

The traffic safety administration urged people to never leave children unattended in a car. Even if people park in the shade or roll the windows down, the NHTSA said that does little to impact the temperature inside the car. People should secure their cars so a child cannot get inside unattended, and if you see a child alone in a locked car, call 911.

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“Any time there’s a loss of a child, it’s just a very tragic event no matter if it’s by natural means or by accident or by some other means,” he said.