DPS: Leaving children in vehicles can be deadly in summer temperatures

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 16:12:32-04

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding Texans of the greater risk of injury or death to children left unattended in a vehicle during the summer months.

“Tragically, children needlessly die every year because they are left unattended in vehicles,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Members of the public can do their part to keep kids safe by notifying emergency personnel if they witness a child alone or in distress inside a vehicle, regardless of the weather. Parents and caregivers should be aware of the dangers.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, temperatures inside a car can rise more than 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. The inside temperature can read 110 degrees with even an outside temperature of 60 degrees. Every summer, children die from heatstroke when left in a vehicle. This negligence could lead to criminal charges. Leaving the windows partially down does not combat the rising temperatures inside a car.

The DPS has some tips for preventing vehicular heatstroke deaths and injuries:

  • Teach children not to play in vehicles and make sure to place the keys out of reach when not being used.
  • Always check the back seats or cargo areas of your vehicle before walking away.
  • Establish reminders that help ensure you remove children from the vehicle. For example: leave your bag, lunch or cell phone in the back seat with the child’s car seat.
  • Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car and emergency personnel will provide guidance.
  • If a child goes missing, open the doors and trunks to every vehicle in the area. Many heatstroke deaths occur when a child accesses a parked car unnoticed.

For more information on preventing heatstroke in cars click here.

Don’t forget animals are also susceptible to heat-related injury or death. For more information on keeping your pets safe in the summer weather you can read more:

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.