DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD)- Classes were cancelled today at Bishop England, the school instead hosted a mass to remember a child who died Friday after being left in a hot car in the staff parking lot.
This is a tragedy that’s had a major impact on the Bishop England community.
“The ripple effect is exponential and entire communities are devastated,” Director of Kids and Car Safety, Amber Rollins said.
The 16-month-old who died was the child of a Bishop England employee.
“The family devastated, people who know the family, the friends, the preschool they went to,” Rollins said.
Authorities responded to the school Friday afternoon, after the Berkley County Coroner says a person saw the child in the car and broke the window to get her out.
The coroner said the baby had been in the car for nearly eight hours, temperatures were in the mid-90’s on Friday and temperatures inside the car likely reached triple digits.
Rollins says there are often many contributing factors that lead a parent to forget their child in a car, one of the biggest being a change in routine.
“One of the most contributing factors is a change in the normal routine and with this being the first week back to school, as an educator, this mother was out of her routine. What she had probably been doing all summer changed that week,” Rollins said.
However, there are important steps you can take as a parent to make sure this never happens to your family.
“First, get a reminder item. This could be a large stuffed animal for example. Put that item in the back seat. That item lives in the vehicle. Any time you go and buckle your child into the back seat, that item comes up to the front seat with you as a visual reminder that your child is with you,” Rollins said.
Another layer of protection is putting something you need every day by the car seat.
“Put something in the backseat when you buckle your child in and leave it there something you can’t start your day without, your laptop for work or your employee badge that lets you get into your building,” Rollins said.
“No charges have been filed as of Monday.
The Berkeley County Coroner’s office says they will continue to conduct interviews and investigate this situation, then present their findings to the solicitor’s office.
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