Parked car can be a child's deathtrap

Tragically, it happens whenever the weather gets hot.

A child is left unattended in a car and perishes.

The tragedy hit home last Sunday evening when 3-year-old Hannah Grace Miller of Anderson died.

Authorities are still sorting out the details of the little girl's death, but last week reported that she was found in a locked car by her father at a residence on West 10th Street in Anderson.

Anderson Police Department spokesman Joel Sandefur said she had been in the car for about two hours.

As emergency aid was summoned, her father worked frantically to revive her. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was tried, and hoping to lower her body temperature, he submerged her in cold water.

His efforts and those of paramedics were to no avail.

Now, little Hannah will never go to kindergarten or graduate from high school or have children of her own. For those who knew her, the world will be a bleaker place.

The fate that befell Hannah happens all too often across the country. According to NoHeatStroke.org, an average of 37 children die each year in the U.S. from heat exposure after being trapped inside automobiles. Hannah is the eighth victim this year of "pediatric vehicular heatstroke," the website reports.

Though it's been hot in the Madison County area over the past week, that Sunday wasn't as bad. By late afternoon, the temperature was still below 80 degrees. But heat rises quickly inside an enclosed car.

“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees," said Jan Null, adjunct professor and research meteorologist at San Jose State University. "Basically, the car becomes a greenhouse. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees.”

In short, a parked car can be a deathtrap for children.

Hannah's death is a tragic testament.

— The Anderson Herald-Bulletin

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