Fire Department Demonstrates How Fast A Child Vehicular Heatstroke Can Take Place


SAN BENITO, Texas – On Friday two toddlers died after their mother said they locked themselves inside a hot car in North Texas.

People are showing outrage on social media, wondering how and why incidents like these happen.

Rafael Perez with the San Benito Fire Department demonstrated to News Center 23’s Marlane Rodriguez on how quickly an incident can occur.

Perez said a child heatstroke starts to set in at 105 degrees.

“A child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult body,” he said.

When the demonstration started, a thermometer showed the temperature outside at 98 degrees, the thermometer was then placed inside a vehicle.

Earlier this month, the Brownsville Fire Department received two reports on infants being left in locked cars, with the air conditioner on.

“Even though the [air conditioner] is on it’s still a dangerous situation,” he said. “Cars [can] malfunction, they can turn off, [adults] shouldn’t leave the kids in the vehicle.”

In 2016, 39 children in the United States have died from being left in hot cars.

“A tactic to use to try to not forget your child in the backseat, is you leave something of importance in the backseat with your child,” Perez said.

It’s critical that adults keep keys away from children.

“If your child goes missing, you want to make sure you look in the vehicle and in the trunk of your vehicle as soon as possible,” he said.

When a child vehicular heatstroke occurs, people on social media are outraged, and wonder how a parent could forget a child, but not a phone.

“I Think about it myself, how could you forget your child? But it will happen. The mind shuts down after a hard, stressful day at work,” Perez said.

Within six minutes in the car, the thermometer’s temperature rose to almost 140 degrees, and rapidly decreased once outside the vehicle.

In 2017 there has been a total of nine child vehicular heatstroke deaths in the united States. 

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