Three-year-old Kyrese Anderson died after being left in a hot car Saturday in Palmetto. It's the kind of tragedy we all think could never happen to us, but time after time, we hear the same story: Parents forgetting about their children and leaving them behind in hot cars with temperatures rising.
"The sad part is that, in the majority, if not all, of these cases, there's not a parent in the world who got up this morning and said, 'I'm going to do intentionally something today to cause my child's death,'" said Jean Shoemaker, Suncoast Safe Kids outreach coordinator.
Shoemaker says the tragedy is often the result of an era of multi-tasking and distractions.
"My best advice is please, please, please take your cell phone and put it in the back seat with the baby," said Shoemaker.
It's sad, but true: People may be less likely to forget their cell phone. So Safe Kids, sponsored by All Children's Hospital in St. Pete, says put the phone, along with your purse, brief case, and everything else, in the back seat near your child. That way you will see your little one when you grab the item.
Remember, it takes just minutes for cars to heat up. FOX 13 put a thermometer in the back seat of an air-conditioned SUV and turned off the car. Only 10 minutes later, the car reached 101 degrees.
"I think the other thing is, when you get out of that vehicle and your children are in the house safe and sound, make sure that you have locked that vehicle up," said Shoemaker.
The Manatee Sheriff's Office says Kyrese's parents drove two separate cars to a relative's home to leave their three children while they attended a funeral. They thought all three kids had gotten out of the car, when they left in one car for the funeral. However, the little boy was still in the parked car and was there for three to four hours.
No one has been charged in Kyrese's death. The investigation by the Manatee Sheriff's Office is ongoing, but a spokesman say the child's death appears to have been an accident.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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