NORTH TEXAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) – In triple digit heat, the increase in temperature happens even faster inside a vehicle.
“When you leave your car windows closed, or even if the window is slightly open, it will get to be 125 degrees in a vehicle within half an hour,” said Matt Zavadsky with Medstar Mobile Healthcare.
He says it doesn’t have to get that hot for a child to start having major health problems.
“Once the kid’s body temperature gets to about 104, they’re gonna start having significant medical emergencies. Once their body gets to 108, they are going to die,” Zavadsky explained.
So, what do you do if you see a child trapped in a hot car? First, he says call 911. While on the phone with emergency crews, find the window furthest from the child.
“You’re going to take something sharp … and it does not matter, either of these corners will be fine. With the intent of breaking the window, you’re going to hit this right in the corner, either side, and literally, the window is going to shatter, and all the glass-because it’s safety glass-will fall down to the floor,” Zavadsky explained. “And now, you’ve got a clear site where you can go in, hit the door lock, open the door, whatever it takes to now be able to go around to get the kid out of that car seat.”
A simple step with a brightly-colored object, like a stuffed animal, could go a long way to preventing the situation from ever happening.
“Normally, Tigger is going to be the car seat. So, if you’re going to put a baby in the car seat, you have take Tigger out, preferably, and you’re gonna put him in the front seat so he kind of stands out,” Zavadsky demonstrated. “When you go to take off your seatbelt, you’re gonna look at the passenger seat and you’re gonna see Tigger, bright orange. He’s there. Then you go, ‘Oh my gosh, JR is in the car seat,’ and that will be the quick reminder when you get there to check the back seat and take the kid out.”
Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths. We’re only about halfway through summer, and Medstar has responded to five children locked in hot cars. That’s more than they responded to the entire summer of last year. Thankfully, all five children survived.