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THP: never leave child alone in a vehicle

Published On: Jun 13 2013 03:59:30 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 13 2013 04:41:29 PM CDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is cautioning parents to never leave a child unattended in a car.

With temperatures reaching the 90s this week, THP Colonel Tracy Trott said heat can build to intolerable levels inside a vehicle in a few minutes.

There were 32 children who died in hot cars last year nationwide. Five of those deaths occurred in Tennessee.

Last June, 5-year-old Leland Bates and his 3-year-old brother, River Bates, died in Cleveland. The younger child's core body temperature was measured at 109 degrees. Their mother, Tasha Bates, was criminally charged.

The THP recommends placing a cellphone, purse or other valuable on the back seat floor in front of a child in a restraint seat. When the driver retrieves the item, the child's presence will be obvious.