Child left in car dies: How this could happen to any parent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It wasn't until driving home Thursday evening that a Lee's Summit mother realized she had never dropped her child off at day care.

The thirteen-month old boy had been in the back seat of the family car all day.

"It happens to pediatricians, it happens to construction workers, it happens to teachers," explained Amber Rollins from Kids And Cars. The Kansas-based nonprofit works to protect children and pass legislation to prevent tragedies involving children and cars.

It was a teacher in this instance as well. The mother of the child teaches at Cedar Creek Elementary where students went home Friday with a letter about the tragedy.

Counselors will be standing by and hundreds are standing with this family. Pictures posted on Twitter show a massive crowd gathered in the Lee's Summit West High School gym where the father of the child is a well-loved coach.

This tragedy has happened here before.

In 2007, a child died after being left in a car in Kansas City.

In 2000, an Aunt left a two year old in a car in Leavenworth. 

Since 1990, 615 children have perished from being left in a car. How it could happen seems unimaginable.

"People don't understand it and it is dangerous that people don't understand it because they think it can't happen to them," Rollins said.

She said researchers have found that our brains do not prioritize what to remember and what to forget, whether it be your keys or your child.

"If you are capable of forgetting to go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk, you are capable of forgetting your child," Rollins said.

The Lee's Summit child's death marks the second heat-related death of a child in a car in the U.S. this year. The first death happened in Sugar Land, Texas earlier this week.

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