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Toddler dies in hot car after grandmother forgets to drop her off at daycare in New York

Toddler dies in hot car in Smithtown, Long Island
Toddler dies in hot car in Smithtown, Long Island 02:06

A 14-month-old girl died after her grandmother left her unattended in a hot car in New York for eight hours, police said.

The 54-year-old grandmother forgot to drop the toddler off at a day care center in Smithtown on Long Island on Monday and went to work, leaving the girl in a car seat inside a Jeep Cherokee, Suffolk County police said in a news release.

Eight hours later, the grandmother went to pick the girl up at the day care center and realized she had left her in the car, police said.

The child was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The death is under investigation and no criminal charges have been filed.

About 40 children die of heatstroke in the United States every year after being left or becoming trapped in a car, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The majority of cases happen when a parent or caregiver forgets that the child is in the car.

Monday's high temperature in Smithtown was 83 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures inside a car can reach much higher.

CBS New York reports that the National Safety Council advises sticking to a routine and avoiding distractions. It says to put a purse, briefcase or even your left shoe in the back seat to ensure you take a final look in the car, and to keep car doors locked and keys out of reach from children so that they can't get inside to play.

"This can happen to anyone. The biggest mistake a parent can make is thinking it can't happen to them," Kids and Car Safety VP Sue Auriemma told CBS New York. "There is technology that's already available and affordable that's coming standard on some vehicles. Hyundai and Genesis and Kia offer a system that will alert a driver if they've walked away from a vehicle and there's still any living being in the vehicle."

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