A New Jersey mother has been arrested after her 1-year-old daughter died from being left in hot car for over 2 hours, prosecutors said.
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Chaya Shurkin, 25, was arrested on Sunday and is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The case began on May 6, when officers responded to a Lakewood home for a report of a child in distress, prosecutors said.
Shurkin’s daughter, who was 21 months old, was left alone in Shurkin’s car in the heat for about 2.5 hours, prosecutors said.
The temperature reached 71 degrees in nearby Trenton that day.
The officers arrived on scene and found a neighbor trying to give the baby CPR, prosecutors said. She was taken to a hospital where she died.
“The investigation determined that the act of leaving the child in the car unattended for such a long period of time was the cause and manner of the child’s death,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said in a statement on Monday.
Shurkin has not yet appeared in court, according to prosecutors.
Hot car deaths reached a record level last year with at least 52 children killed, from California to Tennessee to Mississippi, according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.
Children’s bodies heat up much faster than adults’ do, according to the National Safety Council. Children’s internal organs begin to shut down once their core body temperature reaches 104 degrees — and it takes very little time for a car to get too hot for children, according to the council.
Click here for a list of hot car safety tips.