Leaving Children in Hot Cars Can be Dangerous

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

The most recent incident may have happened Monday.

Dallas police are investigating whether an 18-month-old girl who died at a local hospital had been left in a hot car.

Police say a 30-year-old man brought the unresponsive child to a fire station Monday afternoon. The child was then taken to Children's Medical Center in Dallas, where she was pronounced dead.

Dallas police say fire officials believe the child may have been left in a hot vehicle. Police say they are interviewing the person who brought the child to the fire station. No charges have been filed yet.

Experts say a car can heat up quickly even when it's relatively mild outside. On a summer day, temperatures inside the vehicle can climb more than 40 degrees in just an hour.

According to a study by San Francisco State University, heatstroke occurs when a person's body temperature exceeds 104 degrees fahrenheit. At just a few degrees more, 107 degrees fahrenheit, cells are damaged and internal organs shut down, which can result in death.

The study goes on to say that children are particularly vulnerable, as their bodies are not as efficient at managing temperatures. As a result, kids warm up much more rapidly.

Consumer Reports has released these tips to help prevent deadly accidents:

Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle.
Check the car to make sure that all occupants leave the vehicle or are carried out when unloading. If you lock the door with a key, rather than with a remote, it would force that one last look in the car before leaving it.

Always lock your car and keep keys and remotes away from children.
Keep a stuffed animal in the passenger seat as a reminder of a child in the backseat.

Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up.

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