Toddler Dies After Being Left in Car in Southern Israel

Paramedics pronounce 18-month-old dead on the spot after his father left him in the car for three hours.

The vehicle in Ashdod in which an 18-month-old child was left by his father, who had apparently forgotten him, for three hours, on May 30, 2016. The child died.
Ilan Assayag

An 18-month-old child died after being left in a vehicle in Ashdod on Monday. Local police have begun investigating the incident.

An initial inquiry shows that the toddler was left in the car for about three hours, after his father apparently forgot him.

At 11:58 A.M., the Lachish District Magen David Adom emergency service received a call about an unconscious toddler, from a house on Milman Street in Ashdod. By the time the paramedics arrived, the child showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead.

Said MDA Lachish District director Ami Ivgy: “When we arrived we saw a young child who was unconscious and with signs of serious heat stroke. There were no signs of life and we had to pronounce him dead on the spot.”

Ivgy told Haaretz that by the time he arrived on the scene, the parents had brought the child into the house.

Benny Manala, a volunteer with the Hatzalah emergency-rescue motorcycle unit, told Haaretz: “When I got there I found a child about 1-year-old who was unconscious and without a pulse. Bystanders said the child had been left in the family car since the morning, and when the father came and took him out he was already dead. Unfortunately, there was no way to save the child’s life after he lost so much fluid and due to the burns he suffered from the prolonged stay in the car.”

Orly Silvinger, director of the Beterem Organization for Child Safety, said in response: “Forgetting a child in the car can happen to anyone of us, in a moment of fatigue, distraction, or when we start doing things in an automatic fashion. Studies have shown that on days when the outside temperature was 22 degrees Celsius, within 60 minutes, the temperature inside the car rose to 47 degrees Celsius.

"After 20 additional minutes, the temperature inside the car was over 50 degrees Celsius, and after 40 more minutes – over 65.5 degrees Celsius. Even if a crack is left in the window, the heat in the car rises to dangerous levels for children.

“Extreme heat affects babies and toddlers much more quickly and much more seriously. Due to their smaller size, their body temperature can rise three to five times faster than it would in an adult,” Silvinger added.