By LeaAnne Klentzman
A Sugar Land family is mourning the loss of their 7 month old baby after he died in the family truck.
Last Thursday a Ragus Lakes family had a change in their routine. Dad loaded up the three kids, dropping off the two older children at the nearby elementary school and then he headed for a meeting, failing to remember that his 7 month old baby boy was still with him, strapped in his car seat in the backseat. Dad went to his meeting off 610 and 290 then returned home later in the day. Sugar Land police spokesman Doug Adolph said he was still unaware that the baby was in the truck until his wife called about 5 pm, that afternoon inquiring about the kids. Horrified, the father dropped the phone and ran to his truck. There in his car seat the father found his 7 month old son; non-responsive, not breathing.
This is a tragedy that is not that uncommon, said Adolph. He said while it seems unimaginable, it only takes a short time for a baby to succumb to the heat in the car. On Thursday, the outside temperatures in Houston reached upwards to 90 degrees making the temperatures inside the closed truck much higher. According to the statistics of Kids and Cars in 2010, 83 children in Texas died unattended in cars; 239 across the nation.
Adolph said it was his hope that this tragedy would be a reminder for all parents. Child safety experts say there are several companies that make devices with alerts or alarms to remind parents of a child in the back seat. Other tips are to place your must have items, like your purse or briefcase in the backseat next to the car seat so you will not walk away from the car without them or the baby. Another suggestion is to place a stuffed animal in the front seat to remind you that the baby is in the backseat.
The Ragus Lakes family remains in mourning; their neighbors protective, and the city hopes that the publicity from this tragedy will prevent others. A charge of negligent homicide could be brought said Adolph, however it is not expected as the man is devoted to his family, outside his normal routine and busy with an unusual schedule that day. It all appears to be just a terrible accident, said Adolph.
For more information or tips on car safety go to www.kidsandcars.org