Toddler Dies of Heat After Being Left in a Vehicle at Tennessee Daycare

Gary Bai
By Gary Bai
May 20, 2022US News
Toddler Dies of Heat After Being Left in a Vehicle at Tennessee Daycare
A stock photo of police tape. (Jeff Karoub/File via AP)

On Wednesday, a 2-year-old boy died after being left in the car in record-breaking heat.

In 91-degree weather—one degree below Memphis’s historical highest—a toddler died after being left in a vehicle outside of the “Education Is The Key” childcare facility on 975 Thomas Street for hours on May 19, WKRN reported.

“The victim was transported to LeBonheur critical where he was pronounced deceased,” said the Memphis Police Department in a May 19 tweet.

LeBonheur Children’s Hospital confirmed to WATN that the toddler’s death is Memphis’s first hot car death of a child this year.

Police said a staff member from the daycare center picked up a child on Thursday morning, drove to the daycare, and left the child in the back seat of their car, WHIO TV reported.

According to a memo published on the Tennesse state website addressed to the owner of the daycare, “Dessie X,” a 2018 Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) site review of Education Is The Key found that the care center is “seriously deficient” in its operations.

The deficiencies DHS found include mistakes in the daycare’s reporting of participants, a lower number of meals “observed as served” than reported, a lack of evidence that “sufficient quantities of milk claimed for meals served were purchased,” and menus that “did not meet the USDA meal pattern requirements.”

The daycare center did not address these “serious deficiencies,” according to another state memo dated March 22, 2019, and was thus recommended by the state to shut down.

According to the 2019 memo, the state proposed to terminate Education Is The Key’s agreement with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a federal program subsidizing care centers.

Furthermore, the state proposed to disqualify both Education Is The Key Childcare center and its owner from participating in the CACFP in the future by placing them on the “National Disqualified List.”

The Memphis Police Department told The Epoch Times, NTD’s sister company, that the investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed at this time.

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