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No charges in death of Lee’s Summit infant left in car

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 9:07 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 9:32 p.m.

No charges will be filed in connection with the death of a Lee’s Summit infant whose mother unintentionally left him inside her car while she was at work.

Lee’s Summit police said Wednesday that their investigation into the May 3 death of 13-month-old Heath Hubbard was turned over to Jackson County prosecutors, who determined that charges would not be filed.

Authorities previously said that the mother mistakenly believed that she had dropped the boy off at day care on the way to work at Cedar Creek Elementary School, where she taught. She did not discover him inside the car until about 4:30 p.m. that day, when she was on the way home.

The child was not breathing and she pulled over and immediately called 911.

The outside air temperature reached the low 80s that day.

Such tragedies are not uncommon, experts say, because a change in routine can cause parents to forget their child is in the back seat.

A local advocacy group, which created the website kidsandcars.org, told The Star after the Lee’s Summit incident that parents can reduce the risk by putting a cellphone, purse, briefcase or other important item on the floor in front of the child seat. The parent would then notice a forgotten child when retrieving the item.

Other strategies are to leave a teddy bear in the child seat and move it to the front seat — as a reminder — after the child is buckled in, and to arrange for the child-care provider to contact the parent if a child is not dropped off by a certain time.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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