Lifestyle & Human Interest

An 11-Month-Old Just Died After Being Left in Hot Car for 15 Hours. It's Time to Stop This


Summer is just beginning, and already there’s a heartbreaking story of a baby who died after being left in a hot car for 15 hours.

According to KTVI, 11-month-old Joseline Eichelberger died after her parents allegedly left her in the back seat of their car in Calverton Park, Missouri.

Local law enforcement estimates the child had been left for approximately 15 hours before Joseline’s grandmother spotted the baby still sitting in her car seat on the back seat of the family’s car.

“It’s heartbreaking when there’s any life lost especially when you’re dealing with a child and of an age that young,” Calverton Park Public Information Officer Chris Robertson stated.

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According to KTVI, each of Joseline’s parents believed the other person had removed their daughter from her car seat.

This sad, recurring problem has left people frustrated and angry for decades. It is 2019, why are parents still leaving their loved ones inside hot cars?

President and founder of Janette Fennell believes that parents share a similar line of thinking when it comes to hot car deaths.

Would you install one of these apps on your phone?

“The biggest mistake that parents make is they really feel this can’t ever happen to them,” Fennell told ABC News in a 2017 interview.

Current technological solutions are available to busy parents as another layer of protection in preventing hot car deaths. Several apps are available that parents can install on their phones which will remind users to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle.

The apps are going through growing pains and are not a substitute for human responsibility, but perhaps they may help save a life.

The Kars4Kids Safety app requires a Bluetooth connection, so your vehicle will need to have Bluetooth technology in order for it to work. The app will send an alert when users exit the vehicle, serving as a reminder to check the back seat. Cost: Free

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Upon entering your vehicle, Precious Cargo prompts you to enter the name of any children or other precious cargo you may be traveling with. Once the vehicle stops, the app will send another prompt, reminding the user to attend to the precious cargo in the vehicle. This app requires a smartphone and a 3G or 4G connection. Cost: .99 cents

According to ABC News, auto companies like General Motors have been working to add technology to new vehicles that would alert drivers when someone is still in the back seat, similar to sensors that remind us to buckle our seat belts or turn off the headlights.

As The Auto Alliance pointed out to ABC News, one major downside to new car technology is that the purchase of a new car is simply out of reach for the majority of parents with very young children. Eventually, when the vehicles become outdated, they may fall into the hands of used car buyers, but that does not solve the problem in the present.

One not-yet-available product that looks promising is the groundbreaking “Smart E Saver” invented by 17-year-old Joseph Chung. Chung invented a car seat with three sensors installed, which detect body heat, movement and the weight of the child.

If a child is left in their car seat, the sensors will send a series of three alarms. First, the car seat itself will sound an alarm, second, the car seat owner will get a text message. If there is no response, a third alarm will send GPS coordinates to local emergency crews.

The Smart E Saver is not yet on the market but seems like an item every parent would want.

While technology cannot solve all of our problems or tragedy-proof our lives, there is no harm in putting one of these apps on your phone or finding a similar one that works for you. It just may save a life.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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