Reminder: Never leave a child in a hot car

After a series of news stories of children being left in hot cars, we wanted to send out some safety tips on how to avoid a fatal accident.

By Amy Valm
Reminder: Never leave a child in a hot car

Photo: Courtesy of

With a sweet cherub face that framed soft chubby cheeks and a mischievous grin, three-year-old Ava was called “superprincess” by her parents. She projected laughter, smiles and love — documented in the magnitude of images taken by her photographer mom. But on a sweltering summer afternoon, crossed wires proved fatal.

Ava was at her grandad’s house when she said she was going home (just next door). Instead, she climbed into her parents unlocked car that was sitting in full sunlight to retrieve a candy.

When her parents realized that Ava wasn’t where they thought, panic struck. By the time they found her — just 30 short minutes later — it was too late.  Becoming tired from the hot car, Ava fell asleep. Within 15 minutes her little body had sustained serious injuries. Ultimately the heat of the car killed her.

Ava’s death can only be chalked up to an accident, not neglectful parenting, but the end result equated to a lifetime of hurt. Sadly, Ava’s accident isn’t the only one of its kind. In the news, even just yesterday, a baby died in a hot car.

While it's common knowledge not to leave your child in the car on a hot day, we felt we should post a reminder. Be aware. Keep your car doors locked, don’t leave pets or kids unattended in the car, teach your children never to enter a parked car without an adult and show them how to honk the horn if they’re ever trapped inside. It only takes five minutes for the heat inside the car to make a child too lethargic to do anything. And please, pass this reminder along to other parents.

Visit Ava's Rule to download or print a postcard to raise awareness and help prevent this from happening to any other children.

This article was originally published on Jul 11, 2012

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