Hot car deaths
Stock photographs representing children who have died after being left unattended in vehicles are on display during a news conference to launch the Look Before You Lock campaign at the Campagna Center at George Washington Head Start in Alexandria, Virginia, Aug. 17, 2012. Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

A seven-week-old baby died in Florida’s Okaloosa County after being left in a car for eight hours, the sheriff’s office said Monday. Authorities have launched an investigation into the case.

The incident happened Sunday, when the baby was found dead in the car at a relative's house in Mary Esther. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement the relative was unaware the infant’s mother had placed the baby in a rear-facing car seat inside the vehicle following a church visit.

Read: 4 Employees Fired After 5-Year-Old Dies Inside Day Care Van In Arkansas

Hot car deaths have become a subject of concern in the country. According to child safety organization Kids and Cars, at least 775 children have died due to vehicular heat stroke since 1990. Eighty‐seven percent of children who died from vehicular heatstroke were aged three and younger, Kids and Cars said, adding 55 percent of heatstroke deaths in cars involved children aged one and younger. It further noted that a child’s body overheats three to five time faster than an adult body.

"On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death," Kids and Cars stated on its website.

David Diamond, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, explained to NBC News why parents forget their children in cars.

“When you drive home and don’t normally take a child to daycare, when you have a habit and you are normally driving home from work — and in those subsets or maybe none at all take a child home — well, what happens in all these cases, the parent goes into autopilot mode, which is typically from home to work. It’s in that subset of cases the basal ganglia is taking you on a route that does not include a child,” Diamond told NBC News, adding the child is quiet and out of sight, which is why the parent tends to forget the child is in the vehicle with them.

Read: Amanda Hawkins, Texas Mother Charged In Deaths Of 2 Toddlers After Leaving Them In Hot Car For 15 Hours

Kids and Cars lists some safety tips to avoid such tragedies:

  • Do not leave children alone in or around cars.
  • If a child goes missing, make sure to check the passenger seats of all vehicles in your area even if they are locked. A child may lock the doors of cars after getting inside it but may not be able to unlock them.
  • If you find a child alone in a vehicle call 911 and in case the child appears to be sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
  • Create a reminder to always check your car’s backseat.
  • Be careful during busy days, changes in schedule or holidays. According to Kids and Cars, these are the times when tragedies occur.