by Cassy Fiano | May 13, 2016 4:33 pm
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: to walk into your child’s room and find them dead. One family had to endure this horror and they are speaking out in hopes of preventing anyone else from having to go through what they did.
From the Daily Mail:
A 17-month-old Texas toddler was killed in her sleep when her bedroom’s heating system malfunctioned overnight, heating the room up to 100 degrees.
Larry and Keri Volmert discovered the deadly fault the following morning, when they headed up to their daughter Sammie’s room from their ground-floor master bedroom.
‘As soon as I got to the top of the stairs, it was very warm – I mean, hot,’ Volmert, of Fort Worth, Texas, told KHOU.com. ‘I ran to her room, opened her door, and found her passed away.’
The couple tried to resuscitate the child, but could not revive her.
The Volmerts didn’t know until it was too late because their home’s second floor has a separate HVAC system to the ground floor.
And it seems the child passed away in her sleep, because they heard nothing from her in the night.
‘She did not make a noise at all,’ Keri said. ‘We always heard her if she cried.’
Sammie’s death was ruled to be due to hyperthermia – an increase in body temperature caused by external sources.
Children are known to die of hyperthermia each year, experts told KHOU, but not usually at home – most children claimed by it have been left in a hot car.
Dr. Corwin Warmink, medical director for Cook Children’s Emergency Department, told the station that young children and infants are particularly at risk of heat-related injury.
That’s because because their small size makes it easier for their bodies to heat up and harder for them to cool off.
But while experts say Sammie’s death is rare, Keri Volmert says that she has received similar stories from bereaved parents after posting her tale on Facebook – and now she wants to spread the word.
‘I want people who have two-story homes to realize the danger, because we had never heard of this,’ she said.
She recommended all parents get a baby monitor capable of checking a room’s temperature, something she had never considered until she experienced the tragedy.
The Volmerts are now considering legal action against the HVAC company. But they know nothing will bring back their daughter, who is survived by her three-year-old brother Jackson.
‘We miss her every second of the day,’ Keri Volmert told KHOU. ‘There’s a very large hole in our family without her here.’
Who would ever think that a heating system could heat up so much that it could kill a child? It’s a tragedy that hopefully will never happen again, thanks to this family’s bravery in going public.
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