19 November 2012

South Africa: Premier Thandi Modise Expresses Shock As Toddlers Die in Scorching Heat

press release

North West Premier Thandi Modise has expressed shock at reports that two girls aged two and three suffocated to death while playing in an old unused car in Henryville township outside Zeerust over the weekend.

"We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the Wilskut family on their tragic loss." said Premier Modise.

Modise appealed to the public not to leave children unattended for lengthy periods or while playing in unsafe environments.

According to police, Charlene and Neo Wilsjut whose parents are siblings and live in the same house were playing in a locked car in the 36ºC blistering heat without ventilation when they died on Saturday.

The toddlers were discovered after one of their mothers returned home from work at around 2pm and enquired from her mother about their whereabouts. Neighbours had to break the windows of the car to take out the motionless girls out of the car. It is estimated that they had been playing in the car for about two hours.

Police reported that the pair was declared dead by the Zeerust Emergency Medical Service at the scene. Their skins were badly damaged due to the extreme heat exposure after they had played and fell asleep in the vehicle.

Parents are warned that children left unattended in cars during high temperatures are at risk of dying due to microwave effect.

Issued by: North West Provincial Government

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