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Baby Briell goes home after surviving being left in hot van for 3½ hours

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It seems more and more children are dying after being left in hot cars. Statistics show an average of 38 children die in hot cars in the United States each year. More than half of all child heat stroke deaths in hot cars were caused because the parent got distracted or the child fell asleep and the parent forgot the child was in the car. However, a large percentage of the deaths were not only caused by people who forgot their child in the car, but because some parents believe by simply cracking the window it will make the car cool and safe enough for the child to be left inside the car.

According to a survey published on the SafeKids.org website:

"14% of parents have intentionally left their children in a parked car.

"11% of parents admit to forgetting their child in a car.

"Nearly 1 in 4 parents of a child younger than 3 has forgotten the child in a car.

"Dads are nearly three times more likely than moms to leave a child in a parked car."

Today USA TODAY reported 4 month old Briell Graver who was left in a hot van for approximately 3 1/2 hours was discharged from the All Children's Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

The infant's mother, Natasha Graver, left the infant in her car seat while she attended the funeral of three women killed in a hit-and-run accident, authorities said. Graver then drove home, not realizing the infant was in the back seat of the car, parked and went inside her home.

Later after she and her spouse decided to go out to dinner they realized their daughter was in her car seat. The infant was unresponsive and they called 911. The infant was treated on the scene and was taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

"How do you forget the baby?" neighbor Antonio Welch asked. "Well, you've got too many things on your plate, but that should be your first concern."

St. Petersburg police said "Graver's car windows were rolled up tight on a day when the high was 87 degrees. In less than an hour, temperature inside the vehicle likely exceeded 120 degrees."

Graver was arrested. She was charged with one count of felony child abuse. Graver was later released on $5,000 bond.

Hospital officials said, Baby Briell is expected to make a full recovery.

To avoid tragedy, kidsandcars.org recommends the following safety measures:

"Place a large stuffed animal in your child’s car seat when not in use. When you put your child into the seat, move the stuffed animal to the front seat as a reminder your child is in the back.

"Leave your purse or brief case on the backseat out of reach of your child.

"If your child doesn’t show up to daycare or school at the expected time, arrange to have an administrator call you to check in. Make sure all adults know your child’s routine and any changes you make to it."

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