Investigation underway to determine if baby died from being left in hot car

by Tonya Brown
Posted: 50 mins ago

A one-year-old boy died Wednesday morning, after his parents brought him to the hospital Sunday saying he'd been left in a hot car, according to Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken.

An autopsy is being done to determine if the child's exact cause of death.

The location of the incident and how long the child was left in the car have not been released.

The Florence County Sheriff's Office is also investigating.

Coroner identifies infant who died due to enclosure in vehicle

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Investigators with the Florence County Sheriff's Office are investigating the death of a child left for a period of time in a vehicle over the weekend.

The child was identified Thursday as 13-month-old Jeremiah A. Kennedy, of the Florence area, by Coroner Keith Von Lutcken

The child died Wednesday, and an autopsy performed Thursday determined that the cause of death was hyperthermia due to enclosure in the vehicle. Further tests are being conducted before a manner of death is ruled on, Coroner Lutcken stated.

"On Sunday, a 13-month-old was left in a vehicle for approximately an hour and a half," said Captain Michael Nunn, spokesperson for the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Michael Nunn said once the child's parents realized what happened, the baby was rushed to a local hospital for treatment.

"The child has since died this morning," said Nunn.

Details about the case are still under investigation, but the case is serving as a real reminder of how deadly a hot car can be.

Safe Kids World Wide said already, this year the United States has seen seven kids die from hyperthermia this year.

Safe Kids World Wide is an organization, dedicated to raising awareness about child death caused by Hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke.

"We are out in the community trying to talk to people about heat stroke. Just be aware, just be proactive," said Ashley Costas, Coordinator for Safe Kids World Wide.

You can find Costas out at places like Walmart and local hospitals.

The goal is to remind parents just how hot the inside of a vehicle can get.

"What we have in here is an actual car seat and the child would be sitting right here, which is exactly where the temperature is reading from," said Costas.

Costas had a couple suggestions on how we can avoid child deaths caused by Hyperthermia in our area.

"Put your cell phone in the back with the baby so that when you go and get out of the car you think where is my cell phone? ... You think with my baby," said Costas.

"If your child has a favorite stuffed animal out the stuffed animal in the front seat by you so it reminds you to look for your child, Always…always…always… look before you lock," said Costas.

Costas said at 104 degrees, organs begin to shut down and it only takes a few moments for the inside of your car to reach those life threatening temperatures.

Heatstroke Info: (stats, charts, PSAs, safety tips, child stories, etc):

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