Texas leads nation in hot-car deaths.
SAN ANTONIO - With the sun out and the hot weather returning, now is the time to remember the danger of leaving children in hot cars.
Every year children die from being left in a hot car or climbing into an unattended vehicle on their own.
Chief Charles Hood of the San Antonio Fire Department and area injury prevention experts want to do everything possible to prevent this tragedy.
“The main thing is having awareness when you walk through the parking lot of a shopping mall grocery store, we all do that, to have awareness to make sure there are no children out there,” Hood said.
You may think that this is only a danger when it is very hot outside. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the temperature inside a car can rise to over 110 degrees when outside temperatures are only in the 60s. Even with the window rolled down 2 inches, the temperature inside the car can reach 109 degrees within 15 minutes.
Heatstroke is the leading case of non-crash, vehicle deaths in children. Children get into serious, life-threatening trouble quickly inside a hot car.
“The longer you leave a child unattended in a vehicle, they will develop these symptoms that get worse and worse until they have a heat stroke, and it becomes irreversible organ damage,” Dr. Lillian Liao, pediatric trauma and burn program director at University Hospital, said.
Texas leads other states for the highest number of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles. Prevention efforts are on-going.
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends that everyone remember to “A.C.T.” to prevent this tragedy.
“A” - Avoid heatstroke –- Never leave a child alone in a car for even a minute.
“C” - Create a reminder –- Put your purse, briefcase or cellphone in the back seat next to you child as a reminder, and
“T” - Take action –- If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
One call can help save a life.
For more information on preventing child heatstroke deaths, visit ggweather.com.
Written by Rachel Hooper, Investigative Producer