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Baltimore child left in van creates scare – Safety groups warning of heat risks

Child safety news: A Baltimore family faced a recent scare when 2-year-old girl was left in van for 4 hours, Safety groups issue warnings.

06/25/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks

Baltimore, MD – A 2-year-old girl was left in a daycare van for four hours on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, and was only found when her grandfather came to pick her up at the end of the day, as reported by WBALTV. The girl was treated for heat exhaustion at a hospital and released, luckily escaping any serious injuries.

The family of 2-year-old Izzy Hills said the girl is well, but they on the other hand, were shaken up.

Izzy’s grandmother, Ileana Luciani, told reporters, “She just said she was scared and she cried.”

The girl was left in the van after her day care had taken a field trip to Safety City, a park made up of small-scale buildings and roads that is used to teach children about traffic rules. Upon returning to the daycare facility, she was forgotten in the back.

Izzy’s grandmother said temperatures reached 95 degrees on Wednesday.

The daycare center reported its employees did not follow proper procedure and check the van after returning.

The center released a statement to 11 News, declaring, ”We have analyzed every step of the problem to ensure this can’t happen again. We are adding additional safety checks throughout the day and especially on field trips to achieve this goal.”

The girl’s family said the statement was not enough, claiming there was “no excuse” for what happened.

The day care said they are taking disciplinary action against those who were involved with the field trip Wednesday. Child Protective Services will also conduct an investigation.

This scare is exactly what government and safety officials are trying to avoid by issuing warnings on the dangers of children trapped in cars. According to a Fox News report, 18 children have died this year from injuries suffered after becoming trapped in vehicles. Of those 18, eight of the deaths occurred after June 13.

Government and safety experts are telling parents that children should never be left in or near an unattended vehicle. Many of the recent cases of hyperthermia have resulted from children crawling into unattended vehicles and not being able to escape.

The safety groups Kids and Cars and Safe Kids USA are urging parents to check the back seat every time they exit the vehicle. They advise parent to create a reminder system to ensure children are never left behind.

According to the groups, some parents leave their cell phone or bag near the car seat to ensure they retrieve it along with their child or children. Another idea offered by the groups is to place a stuffed animal in the car seat when the child is not in the seat and putting the toy in the front seat when the child is occupying the car seat.

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