A 5-month-old girl died in Moorhead Tuesday night after she was in left in a minivan car seat "for an extended period of time," possibly hours, police Lt. Chris Carey said, Forum Communications reported.
Emergency responders got a call about an unresponsive child at 8:22 p.m., Forum reported. The first responder found that the infant had been moved to a nearby apartment and began administering CPR, the Associated Press reported. But the child died at the scene. The AP notes that the child might have been in the car four hours.
Police are investigating the death. “During the initial investigation, it appeared accidental,” Carey said late Tuesday, Forum reported.
According to the National Weather Service, it was about 80 degrees most of Tuesday afternoon in Fargo-Moorhead and it reached 82 degrees at 6 p.m., Forum reported.
At least eight children who were left in cars have died this spring, seven deaths in May alone, which is nearly double the typical number of heatstroke deaths during the month involving kids forgotten or neglected in vehicles, NBC News reported earlier this month.
"The worst thing any parent or caregiver can do is think that this could never happen to them, that they are not capable of inadvertently leaving their child behind," Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, said in a recent news release. The group is the leading national nonprofit child safety organization working to prevent injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles.
"This can and does happen to the most loving, responsible and attentive parents," Fennell said.
There were 32 child vehicular heat stroke deaths in 2012, the group says. Here's a look at the statistics back to 1990.