A horrible tragedy

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We've all heard about gross negligence that results in the death of a child but it seems that it always happens somewhere else, giving the impression that such events are outside of our world, not a concern for the residents of our rural area of America.

The death of a two-year-old child last week in Storm Lake shatters that complacency.

Two-year-old Steven Saavedra died after being left in a hot car by his 18-year-old uncle, who walked home and forgot about him Thursday afternoon, according to the Storm Lake Police Department.

The child was found dead Thursday evening after his mother came to get him, police said. He had reportedly been dead for some time before his mother came to get him.

The uncle, Noe Vargas, was charged with child endangerment causing death and was being held in the Buena Vista County jail under $32,500 bond. If convicted, Vargas could face up to 50 years in prison.

It is inexcusable to leave a toddler alone anywhere for several hours. When the toddler is left in an environment that can be expected to cause death, the responsible person should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Temperatures are a bit cooler this week than last but the effect of sun shining through car windows can cause a dramatic increase in temperatures even when the heat outside does not seem particularly uncomfortable. People should never leave an infant or toddler alone in a car for any amount of time any time of the year.