Journalism of Courage

4-year-old Nigerian boy dies after being found locked in hot car in South Carolina

A South Carolina coroner’s office says a 4-year old child has died after he was found locked in a hot car.

Zion Akinrefon, was found unresponsive in the backseat by his mother, who noticed the child was missing and began a search. He was last seen watching TV and made it to the car through the house’s side door.

He was rushed to a hospital after paramedics couldn’t revive him. He was pronounced dead Wednesday at a Midlands hospital from complications of probable hyperthermia, according to police in South Carolina.

The 4-year old lives in the State of Maryland and was visiting South Carolina with his parents.

Police said his mother found him in the back of the family’s car.

After locking himself inside the car, the 4-year-old passed out from heat stroke.

It only takes 15-20 minutes for a child to become overwhelmed in a hot car, and die from hyperthermia, officials say. While officials say no one should ever leave their child in the car, it is also essential to lock your car to “stop children from being curious, a deputy said.

“The fact of the matter is if the car is locked, your children can’t get in,” the deputy said.

Authorities say the child’s death marks the first hot car death in that area since 2015.

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