A 4-month-old baby is in critical condition after being left in a car for 4½ hours Monday afternoon, according to Phoenix police.
Officers found the baby in a car parked inside a garage after responding to reports of an injured infant around 1 p.m. near 83rd Avenue and Camelback Road.
According to police, officers learned the mother left the baby inside the car since 8:30 a.m.
The baby was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said.
Police did not release any additional information.
Arizona ranks 4th in child hot-car deaths
According to a report by Kids and Car Safety, Arizona has had 46 child deaths related to heatstroke as of February after kids were left in hot cars since 1994. Nationwide, 107 deaths of this kind occurred between 2018 and 2019, the highest number in history, according to the report.
Though there have been no documented deaths this year, the organization warned that as temperatures rise and routines shift due to the pandemic, the public should be extra vigilant.
Tips to avoid leaving a child in a car
Child health and welfare organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that you:
- Avoid distractions while driving.
- Keep your car locked when no one is in it, and store car keys out of reach. Children sometimes climb into unlocked vehicles and accidentally lock themselves in.
- Teach children that cars are not places to play, and that they are off-limits for games such as hide-and-seek. You should also keep any rear fold-down seats upright to stop kids from crawling into the trunk from inside the car.
- Make a habit of putting something in the backseat that you can’t leave your car without, such as a shoe, cellphone, wallet or purse. This will remind you to check the area near a car seat before leaving the vehicle.
- Take extra care when your routine changes, such as when you take a different route or when someone else is driving your child. Call to make sure your child made it to his or her destination if you aren’t driving. You could also ask your child-care provider to call if your child is ever more than 10 minutes late.
- Use an app — such as Waze, Baby on Board or Kars4Kids Safety — with a car-reminder feature.