Officials Urge Parents to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

Officials Urge Parents to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

By Geena Martinez

NewsWest 9

There are warnings about it each summer but unfortunately it still happens. Every year, kids die in hot cars and Texas is at the top when it comes to this tragic scenario.

One child died over the weekend in El Paso and another is recovering in the hospital. Local officials are speaking out so it doesn't happen again.

Children dying in hot cars is something no one wants to see happen but it doesn't have to be as hot as you might think for tragedy to strike.

"At 76 degrees outside, we've had a child death in cars," Lisa Earp, Trauma Outreach Coordinator with Medical Center Hospital, said.

On a warm day, temperatures inside a car can reach up to 50 degrees higher than it is outside.

"The first thing that happens is your heart rate goes up, your respiratory rate goes up," Earp said. "Your blood vessels, you'll see them start to pop out."

Earp said major organs begin to fail once the body's core temperature is above 104 degrees.

"The body is trying to maintain it's cooling mechanism," she said. "It's pulling blood from the organs to the skin.  At about 108, it starts to damage the brain."

But when it's a child's body, it happens even faster.

"They don't have as much fluid in their bodies as adults," Earp said.

Officials are urging parents: Don't let your child be the next victim. They said putting something like your phone or purse in the backseat are good reminders to take your kids from the vehicle.

You can still help prevent these tragedies even if you're not a parent.

"If you see one in the car, you must take action and you must call 911," Earp said.