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Experts Weigh In After Baby Dies While Left In Car

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(credit: CBS) Angela Davis
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The death of a baby in Moorhead, who was left in a hot car, has many wondering how and why such a thing could happen.

Nationally, about 38 children die while trapped in hot vehicles, according to the group Kids and Cars.

Julie Philbrook, from Hennepin County Medical Center, is an injury prevention specialist. She said 11 children in the country have already died in 2013 from heat stroke while in a car.

“It does not have to be blistering hot outside for them to overheat,” she said. “Kids heat up three to five times faster than an adult. So even an adult sitting in a car that is not running and cooling and is feeling OK, your child is heating up much faster.”

At the Allina Clinic in West St. Paul, Dr. Cheryl Bemel is a psychologist who sees parents of young children. She said it’s common to be distracted.

“We as humans, and I believe, particularly as Americans, we are just going too fast all the time,” she said. “And without having time to slow down, parents are overwhelmed. We are not machines. We are not robots. We forget things, even what is dearest to our hearts.”

Philbrook offered advice.

“It would be a good idea to put something you will need during the day back there with the child, whether a cell phone or brief case, so that you have to go back there to get that item, and there you will remember the child.”

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