Boy, 5, Dies After Mother Didn't Realize He Left Was in Hot Car

A 5-year-old child has died after being left inside a car for two or three hours in Houston, according to authorities.

The incident happened in northeast Houston, Texas on Monday and is being investigated by the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Police were dispatched to the 13700 block of Blair Hill Lane on Monday afternoon, according to a Fox 4 News report. When they arrived they found the 5-year-old boy unresponsive and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police
Stock image of police tape. A 5-year-old child has died after being left inside a car for two or three hours in Houston, according to authorities. Getty

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez spoke to local media and explained that they do not believe there was any foul play.

He went on to detail how the child died and what they know so far about the incident. Before the child was left in the car, the mother, the 5-year-old and the victim's 8-year-old sister were out getting things for a birthday party at the home.

"They were in full excitement, the business of getting those things ready [for a birthday party]. They exited the car and went inside the house to continue preparations," Gonzalez said.

"Mom went inside, the other sibling was inside as well. After a couple hours, two or three hours, mom noticed the 5-year-old was nowhere to be found and began calling for him to no answer.

"She frantically ran outside and discovered the 5-year-old still buckled in, his car seat still in place."

The sheriff said that the child had the ability to get out of the vehicle by himself and had done so before. However, Gonzalez said that the car was a loaner and the investigation will be looking into whether that played a part in the child not getting out.

"Maybe the child was asleep or got disorientated after a bit with the temperature as hot as it is, we don't know. That will be part of the investigation.

"A child's body heat goes up three to five time faster than for adults. So after 104 degrees a child can suffer heatstroke and it can become fatal."

Experts have highlighted that parents need to be vigilant for these types of incidents and accept that it can happen to anyone.

Janette Fennell, the founder of non-profit organization Kids and Cars, told publication Today's Parent about the reality of the situation.

"Parents just can't wrap their heads around the fact that this can happen to anyone, including them," she said.

"It happens to the rich, the poor, all different races, stay-at-home moms, rocket scientists, veterinarians, teachers, you name it, everyone."

Lorrie Walker, training manager and technical advisor for Safe Kids Worldwide, weighed in as she offered her expertise to Today's Parent.

"Sadly, many folks think that because they so love their children it won't happen to them," she said.

"They don't see themselves as at risk for this sort of injury or fatality. They don't always take the necessary steps to prevent these tragedies because, to them, it's unimaginable."