A one-year-old baby girl died on Thursday after being forgotten for several hours in an overheated car in the Avnei Hefetz settlement of the northern West Bank, medics said.
Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene to find the toddler not breathing and without a pulse. They tried to revive her and took her to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba in critical condition, but she was declared dead shortly after.
Police said that the baby’s mother was supposed to take her daughter to nursery but forgot the toddler in the car. For reasons still unclear, she left the premises in a different vehicle. After about five hours, the woman returned to the original vehicle to find her daughter unconscious and immediately alerted authorities.
According to the Beterem organization for child safety, 19 babies and children died after being left in a vehicle since 2008, including seven in the last year alone.
In August 2016, a joint Knesset committee accepted several recommendations aimed at preventing the deaths of children forgotten in overheated cars following a spate of such cases.
One of the proposals is a requirement for all car seats to be fitted with standardized technology that would alert parents should they forget to take their children out of the car. The requirement will be phased in over the next three years.
Since the start of the current school year, kindergartens across Israel introduced a new system whereby teachers and parents will have to notify one another if a child is absent without explanation.
These efforts will be accompanied by a national campaign instructing parents on steps they can take to prevent leaving their children in the car, along with radio advertisements targeting all sectors of Israeli society, in particular minorities.