FORT WORTH — Firefighters in Fort Worth saved a child who was trapped in a hot car on Wednesday.
They got there just in time after someone called 911.
Also Wednesday, two mothers stepped forward to say a tragedy like that can happen to anyone.
No one knows exactly how long little Lilly Parsons was trapped in her family's sport utility vehicle last July. But when Johnson County deputies found her, there was no chance for recovery.
"My daughter is never going to grow up," Jodie Parsons said. "She is never going to be a doctor. She's never going to take after me and be a nurse. She is never going to do a lot of things."
Parsons uses her daughter's story to remind other parents to lock their car doors so children can't play inside.
"This happens to normal, well-intentioned, good parents who love their children," she said.
The Safe Kids Coalition showed just how hot cars and trucks can get even on a relatively cool summer day. Outside it was less than 90 degrees on Wednesday, but inside a pickup truck the mercury reached 135 degrees.
Little bodies can't cool off or recover from what may have started with a parent's forgetful moment.
That's what happened to Sophia Rayne Cavaliero. Now her mother, Kristie Reeves-Cavaliero, has started Ray Ray's Pledge — a commitment for parents, teachers and day care providers to always communicate the whereabouts of a child.
"It would have taken less than one minute to call, and it would have cost nothing," Cavaliero said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these recommendations for parents and caregivers to keep from leaving a child behind in a vehicle:
- Write yourself a note and put the note where you will see it when exiting the car.
- Place your purse, briefcase, wallet, or something else you need in the back seat so you will have to check for it when exiting the car.
- Always keep an object like a stuffed toy in a child's car seat when the vehicle is unoccupied. When a child is buckled in, move that object where the driver will notice it when leaving the vehicle.
Cavaliero and Parsons also urge the community to help parents avoid their tragedies: Call 911 any time you see a child in an unattended car.
Texas leads the nation with 23 hot car deaths since 2010.