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Hot car child death is encouraging advocates to bring awareness to this issue

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 19:34:40-04

WACO, Texas — A family in Houston is mourning their son after leaving him inside a hot car. So far, the summer heat is staying strong increasing the chances of more children or pets getting left behind.

Some parents think it'll never happen to them.

”I was extremely critical of parents that had forgotten their children in a car as a matter of fact I was certain that it had been an intentional act,” said Eric Stuyvesant, Kid in Cars Advocate.

This is what Eric Stuyvesant always believed. But this month, seven years ago Stuyvesant says his entire life changed.

”I’m a creature of habit and I follow a very strict routine every day and that morning there was a change in the routine,” shared Stuyvesant.

Stuyvesant mistakenly left his son in the car for a little more than an hour. His son Michael reached a body temp of 105. But miraculously he lived.

“In my research, I found that 25 percent of parents admit to losing track of their child in the car at some point and time,” said Stuyvesant.

Stuyvesant says one thing you can do is leave things in the backseat like your purse, backpack, or keys, reminding you to look back.

“Kids will start to get really hot really quick and when that body temperature gets to about 104, that’s when the real neurological concerns happen,” said Dr. Amy Mersiovsky, Director of Nursing A&M Central Texas.

Dr. Amy Mersiovsky sees heatstroke in kids often and says it's because of children's delayed development of their hypothalamus and kidneys. Essentially it’s tougher for them to regulate their body heat or fluids and electrolytes.

”Heat stroke is a brain injury and depending on the extent of the injury. It could be developmental delay, there could be all kinds of problems that the child might have later on,” added Dr. Mersiovsky.

Some cars like Hyundais have adopted a back seat occupant alert to help save lives. And Stuyvesant hopes to continue advocating to bring awareness to tragedies