A 16-month-old boy is dead after being left in a hot car in Burnaby on Thursday.
According to Acting Burnaby Fire Chief Dave Younger, firefighters were called to the 5600-block of Inman Avenue around 5:20 p.m., to reports of child locked in a vehicle.
Burnaby RCMP says the child was unconscious when first responders arrived. Sources tell Global News the boy was left in the vehicle for nine hours.
According to police, the boy’s father was located at the scene, and both parents are cooperating with the investigation.
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“It’s absolutely heartbreaking, it’s a tragedy, it has ripple effects throughout the community,” said Chief Supt. Deanne Burleigh, Officer in Charge of the Burnaby RCMP.
Burleigh said police were in the very early stages of the investigation and canvassing the neighbourhood and could not provide more details about the case.
“As with any tragedy like this, I can’t imagine how the parents are coping. As a parent myself I can’t imagine how I would cope. So we have provided victim services, they are surrounded by friends and family,” she said.
The BC Coroners Service is also investigating. Police said no one has been arrested in the incident.
Younger said when crews arrived, paramedics were removing the child from the vehicle.
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The infant was transported to hospital in critical condition by paramedics, with firefighters assisting with CPR.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) said four units, including an advanced life support unit, arrived on scene within four minutes of receiving the call.
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“With this kind of weather we’re having, yesterday we had record highs, this definitely wouldn’t be a time to leave your child at all in the car, or an animal, or anything,” said Younger.
“Very scary thing.”
Burleigh said police are pleading with the public not to leave their children alone in their vehicles in the warm weather.
“When you’re transporting your children in a vehicle, please check the vehicle and ensure that you have delivered your child and that they’re no longer in the vehicle when you’re parked and you’ve gone off to do your business for the day.”
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Experts say it can take just 20 minutes for the interior of a vehicle to reach extreme temperatures on a warm day.
According to safety website kidsandcars.org, 52 children died of heatstroke in cars across the U.S. in 2018, and nine have lost their lives already in 2019.
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