Doctors issue 'hot car' warning for parents

Studies show 'good parents' still leave their children trapped hot car

SAN ANTONIO - A startling statistic: just last year, 44 children died from heat stroke from to being trapped in the car here in the United States.

Dr. Joshua Tardy, a San Antonio pediatrician, said studies show that this tragedy can happen to "good" parents and that all it takes is one time to forget that a child is strapped in the backseat.

"They're just doing their normal routine and then they realize, 'Oh my goodness! I didn't look in the back seat!'" said Tardy. "So a lot of these parents are good parents. They just made an awful, terrible mistake. They are not people going out there, trying to hurt their kid."

If children are trapped inside the car, Tardy said their organs could shut down and even if they survive, they could suffer brain damage. That's because the temperature inside the car can rise 3 degrees every five minutes.

"Even when you are outside and you may not think it's that hot outside, a car inside can be about 40 degrees hotter than it is on the outside," said Tardy. "So on a 70-degree day, you can potentially be exposing your child to 110 degrees in the car if they are left in there long enough."

Jose Alvizo, a parent to a 6-month-old, said he could not imagine leaving his infant son, Mark, in the back seat of the car and that it's heartbreaking to hear about other parents who have made that mistake.

"It's very sad to hear it," said Alvizo. "It's very sad to see it, but it's never acceptable in any case."

Alvizo said he takes measures to make sure a tragedy like that will never happen to his family.

"If I have to get out, I get out," said Alvizo. "But I got to take everybody out. I can't just leave everybody in the car."

If you are out and you see a child trapped in a car, fire officials recommend that you call 911.

However, if you see that baby or child in distress, fire officials say you should take any measure to save that baby, even if it means breaking a window.


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