A 16-month-old Indiana toddler suffers a seizure after being left in an SUV in which the temperature hits 124 degrees. A 4-month-old girl dies after being forgotten in a vehicle for hours.
Dozens of such heat-related injuries and deaths happen each year, and in the vast majority of such cases, parents don't intentionally leave their children in the car, said Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, a nonprofit organization that aims to prevent injuries to children around motor vehicles.
"The lion's share of these incidents happen to the best of parents," Fennell told msnbc.com. "The biggest mistake someone can make is thinking it can't happen to you."
Both of the incidents above occurred within an hour of each other in the Indianapolis area on Saturday, a day when temperatures rose about 100 degrees.
The 16-month-old toddler left the hospital on Sunday and was released to her grandmother's custody, NBC station WTHR in Indianapolis reported.
Meg Trueblood is charged with neglect after leaving her daughter in her SUV to go shopping.
The toddler’s mother, Meg Trueblood, 30, was bonded out of jail Sunday after being charged with felony neglect of a dependent.
Police say Trueblood left the child in her SUV for more than an hour to go shopping at a clothing store. Another shopper discovered the child and called 911. Police broke the passenger window and brought the child into the store looking for her guardian. The girl suffered a heat-related seizure after being pulled from vehicle.
The temperature inside the vehicle read 124 degrees, according to a press release by the Fishers Police Department.
Josh Stryzinski told investigators he didn't know his four-month-old baby was in the car until he discovered her after being in his parents house for a few hours.
Trueblood's two other children were allowed to stay with her at home.
In another incident just one county over, the father of the four-month-old girl is facing a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. He was released after posting bond Sunday.
Greenville police responded to a call saying an infant was left in a car for some time, but when they arrived they learned the child had been taken to the hospital by her grandfather.
The father, Joshua Stryzanski, 18, told police he thought someone was watching the baby and wasn’t aware she was still sitting in her car seat with the vehicle's windows rolled up, according to a police affidavit.
When he realized he had to go pick up the baby's mother from work, he discovered her in the car.
Investigators said the temperature outside was 104 degrees when they responded to the call.
According to the affidavit, the base of the car seat tested 119 degrees after a door had been left open for almost two hours. Investigators said the baby had visible third-degree burns on her legs and arms.
If convicted, Stryzanski could face a sentence of 20 to 50 years and a $10,000 fine. Trueblood could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
According to KidsAndCars.org, an average of 38 children die each year from heat-related causes from being trapped inside motor vehicles.
The nonprofit has tracked such deaths since 1998. In 2011, 33 children died from vehicular heat stroke deaths, down from 49 the previous year, according to KidsAndCars.org.
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