The local community, parents of children and the public were completely devastated last month when several local news stations reported about the incident when a daycare worker forgot 1-year-old boy inside a hot car for several hours. The boy was later found in critical condition and despite doctors’ efforts, the infant died. Few days later, the daycare voluntarily surrenders license.
According to Newsweek that was among the first that reported about the fatal incident, the child was picked up by a staff member of the daycare morning and driven to the daycare. However, the staff member reportedly forgot the child was in the car, left him in there and went to work. The worker came back out at around 2:40 p.m. and realized the child was still in the car.
Following the incident that happened at the Tenn. based Education is the Key Childcare daycare, at least two people were detained, but as of now, it remains unknown if charges were filed against. The boy was reportedly found by the daycare worker who initially forgot the child that morning, when he returned at the end of his shift and was headed home.
According to the local authorities that responded at the scene, the identity of the victim is still not released as the investigation is ongoing. The police also confirmed that two of the daycare workers that were arrested that day have since been released and until their release, no criminal charges were filed. At this point, their identities still remain unknown for the public.
When EMS crews arrived at the scene, the little boy was still alive, but in very critical condition. He was immediately transferred to a local hospital for treatment where he was pronounced dead sometime later. The cause of death hasn’t been officially confirmed, but preliminary information points to a heat exhaustion death.
The infant’s death came just when the temperatures reached a near-record high in that region. That day, the outside temperatures reached 91 degrees, and with outside temperatures that high, the internal temperature in a car can reach over 130 degrees.
This incident left the local community devastated. ActionNews5 spoke to a local resident who lives just next to the daycare center and he said he was shocked of what had happened reminding everyone that such kinds of incidents now happen every once in a while.
“It’s not safe anymore. It’s not safe anymore,” said the local resident, Ricky Nelson. “You see it happens every other year. Someone leaves a baby at daycare or in a car it’s happening everywhere. It hurts me like it’s my baby,” Nelson added.
The Tenn. Department of Human Services released the following statement:
The Tenn. Department of Human Services (TDHS) is aware of the incident involving Education is the Key Children’s Learning Center. We are saddened and our thoughts go out to the family during this difficult time.
The TDHS Child Care Licensing Team immediately launched an investigation of the situation and is partnering with others to further investigate as needed. The child care agency was authorized for transportation of children through use of pre-approved vehicles. Our investigation has confirmed that although the person involved in the situation was approved to transport, the specific vehicle involved was not.
The provider was first licensed in February 2017 and had received no violations since opening. As of May 23, 2022 the agency has surrendered its child care license and is now closed.