A Florida nanny has been arrested on a manslaughter charge after a 10-month-old baby girl she was caring for died left in a hot car, US media reported. Authorities are urging parents and carers of children to “get into the habit of checking the back seat of the car before closing the door.”
According to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, 48-year-old Rhonda Jewell left the infant in the vehicle for “at least five hours” while the outside temperature was 36.6 degrees Celsius, CNN reported on Thursday. The authorities’ report indicates that the temperature in the car was 56.1 degrees Celsius when the girl was found, NBC News reported. On Thursday, babysitter Rhonda Jewell was arrested on a charge of involuntary manslaughter and is currently in the Baker County Detention Center.
Investigators found that on that day the 48-year-old cared for a total of four children. She picked up the 10-month-old girl from her parents’ house and then went to another place to look after all four. When she arrived at her destination, “she thought the baby was asleep, so she went into the house and started taking care of the other children, completely forgetting about the baby in the car,” the sheriff’s office report said. The girl was found by her mother when she came to pick her up.
A child in a hot car. Disturbing statistics
According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 40 children die each year in the US due to heatstroke or due to being left in vehicles. Nearly 53 percent of the time, those caring for children forget they haven’t taken them out of the car, the NHTSA reports on its website, urging parents and carers to “get into the habit of checking the backseat of the car before closing the door.”
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