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Day Care Sued After Child Dies of Heatstroke

Amanda Tejuca7 months ago

A day care is being sued for the heatstroke death of a toddler who was left unattended in a hot van for five hours.

About the Fatal Heatstroke Incident

According to WHAS 11, 70-year-old Jacqueline Thomas has been charged with manslaughter after leaving 2-year old LaVontae Swain in the back of a van for five hours, resulting in a heatstroke and subsequent death.

LaVontae was discovered in a van at a local elementary school on April 18. Investigators determined he had been left in the van for five hours.

The woman was the child’s aunt and the Kentucky daycare owner. The boy's mother, Carless Swain is suing Lil’ Kings and Queens Day Care for negligence.

Child Heatstroke Statistics

A study published in the journal Pediatrics found the following:

  • Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2016:  6
  • Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2015:  24
  • Total number of U.S. heatstroke  deaths of children left in cars, 1998-present:  667
  • Average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998: 37

Wide disparity exists in sentences for leaving kids to die in hot cars; however, in cases with paid caregivers 84% were charged and 96% convicted.

Once a core body temperature of 107 degrees F or greater is reached, cells are damaged and internal organs begin to shut down.  These events can rapidly lead to death.

Children's thermoregulatory systems are not as efficient as an adult's, and their body temperatures warm at a rate 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s.

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