The body of a 7-year-old who died after being left inside a school van for hours in Chonburi has been sent for autopsy. The National Institute for Child and Family Development (NICFD) indicated this incident involved the oldest victim to date. It called for the causes of the most recent tragedy to be examined.
NICFD Director Adisak Plitponkarnpim indicated the incident was, among similar cases, one involving the oldest victim to date. He said it is believed the child experienced acidosis and brain swelling after being stuck in the hot interior of the van.
Dr. Adisak said 2-3 children die each year from being stuck in a vehicle, but the children are usually under 5 years old. He said the factors leading to the most recent case must be determined, as it involved a 7-year-old child. He noted a child this age should have been able to respond to the scenario. He added school vans have so far not been regulated enough to prevent these incidents from repeating. He suggested that at the very least, the name list of children who took the school van be checked every time.
Royal Thai Police Deputy Commissioner Damrongsak Kittipraphat said police in Chonburi have been told to thoroughly check on the details of the case. He noted the case affects parents’ sentiment nationwide, saying legal action will be taken if the death resulted from negligence.
Police forces nationwide have been asked to coordinate with school management to prevent the incident from repeating. Pol. Gen. Damrongsak said the Royal Thai Police had previously worked with schools to address this issue. He said school vans should not have dark films or curtains and children should be taught to honk the car horn in emergencies. He added school children should be trained to respond to similar scenarios. (NNT)