A 2-year-old child is in critical condition after being left in a vehicle for almost two hours.
Big Island police say it was just before 4 p.m. when medics arrived at a parking lot at Coconut Grove Marketplace in Kailua-Kona.
Paramedics transported the girl to Kona Community Hospital.
Police say that according to the father, the family had been shopping, and he dropped them off at home not realizing his baby daughter was asleep in the vehicle as he went on to work.
Police say the child’s aunt realized the child was not at home, drove to the father’s workplace and found the baby in the vehicle.
Officers say after the child was examined at the hospital, she had to be intubated in critical condition and was flown to Kapiolani Medical Center.
Unfortunately, children being left in cars hit record numbers last year.
“A lot of parents get caught up in daily activities, or there’s stress and sometimes lack of sleep, interruptions can interrupt our normal routines and behaviors,” said Sabrina Tran, program director for Parents and Children Together.
There’s also new technology that can alert parents to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle.
One is in GM vehicles. If the driver opens the back seat at any point and drives away, once they shut off the car, a reminder will pop up and beep five times reminding you to check the back seat.
Kars 4 Kids also has a free Android app for download. All you need is a car with Bluetooth and once you turn off the car, your phone will remind you to check the back seat about seven seconds later.
Tran also suggests putting a toy in the front seat as a reminder or positioning the car seat towards the middle so you can see it in the rearview mirror.
She also says to try and show empathy towards the family.
“Our heart goes out to that child and family because no family wants to go through this,” she said.
The incident is under investigation. Anyone who may have information on the case is asked to contact Sergeant David Araki at (808) 326-4646 ext. 296