Yet another child has died after being left in a hot car and his father may be facing jail-time, as he has been charged with child abuse. The Associated Press reports that three-year-old Daylin Palmer was found unresponsive in a vehicle in Smyrna, Tennessee last week, according to Police Chief Kevin Arnold. Arnold also reported that officers attempted to revive the young boy, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
After investigation, Arnold arrested the boy’s father, 23-year-old Dylan Levesque, who has been charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect. It’s estimated that Palmer was left alone in the car for two hours. It’s not yet known if Levesque plans to hire an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Sadly, this is an extremely common occurrence, especially during the summer months. Last year, a record 52 children died from Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH). So far in 2019, PVH has taken 20 children. The circumstances surrounding Palmer’s case have yet to be confirmed, but many similar cases are due to ignorance or miscommunication, rather than malicious intent. The Centers for Disease Control warns that regardless of temperatures or if the windows are cracked, it is never safe to leave children unattended in a car for any amount of time.
Temperatures inside a car can rise nearly 20 degrees within just 10 minutes. The CDC also recommends dressing children in loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing as well as keeping them hydrated – especially when traveling.
There are also a variety of car seats and alarms that can alert parents when their child has been left alone in a hot vehicle. These types of tools aren’t currently required by law, but given the number of related deaths this year alone, perhaps they will be soon.