A Hanahan mother has been charged with homicide after her children were found dead in trash bags under the sink. She may have left the kids in her car while she worked, causing their deaths. The Associated Press ran a story about such deaths on Sunday.
Since the mid-1990s, the number of children who died of heat exhaustion while trapped inside vehicles has risen dramatically, totaling around 340 in the past 10 years.
July is by far the deadliest month, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total.
A relatively small number of cases _ about 7 percent _ involved drugs or alcohol. In a few instances, the responsible parties had a history of abusing or neglecting children. Still others were single parents unable to find or afford day care.
The story also has interesting statistics on punishment when convicted.
Mothers are treated much more harshly than fathers. While mothers and fathers are charged and convicted at about the same rates, moms are 26 percent more likely to do time. And their median sentence is two years longer than the terms received by dads.