As 100°+ temperatures build into Central Texas for the next week or more, it is essential that parents remember the danger of accidental hot car deaths.
The first death involving a child left inside of a hot car this year in the U.S. happened in Tomball, Texas in April. The most recent instance happened yesterday in California. Fullerton, California, police say the body of an infant was found inside of the car left parked in the driveway of the family’s home. First responders tried to revive the baby but were unable to do so.
Since 1998, more kids have died of heat-related deaths in vehicles in Texas than any other state according to the National Safety Council. There are an average of 39 child hot car deaths in the U.S. each year since 1998, but recently there have been more. In 2018 there were 53 deaths, and last year there were 52.
When the air temperature reaches 100° outside, the temperature in your car rises quickly after you shut off the engine:
- After 10 minutes: 119°
- After 20 minutes: 129°
- After 30 minutes: 134°
- After 1+ hour: 145°, just shy of hot coffee
Always remember to check your backseat when you park your car. Some experts suggest leaving one of your shoes or your car keys in the backseat as a reminder that someone else is in the car. Even a short errand can prove fatal.