(HOUSTON) — A 1-year-old girl has died after being left in a hot car all day in the Houston area, authorities said.
On Thursday morning, the baby’s mother drove three children — ages 5, 3 and 1 — to day care, where she dropped off the 5-year-old and 3-year-old, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
The mother returned home and went about her day and apparently switched cars at some point, Gonzalez said.
She returned to the day care late Thursday afternoon expecting to pick up three kids, but the staff told her only two were dropped off, the sheriff said.
The mother went back home where she found the 1-year-old girl in the back seat of a car at about 6 p.m., Harris County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Beall told reporters.
The baby, who had been in car since 8:30 a.m., was pronounced dead at the scene, Beall said.
This marks the 20th hot car death this year, according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org. Texas ranks No. 1 in the country for hot car deaths, with a total of 145 fatalities since 1991.
A record 54 children died in hot cars in 2018, followed by 53 fatalities in 2019, according to KidsAndCars.org. Last year, 25 children died in hot cars, a drop that KidsAndCars.org director Amber Rollins attributed to the pandemic.
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