Hot Car Warnings For Parents

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Already this year, six children in the United States have died after being left in hot cars.

With temperatures forecasted past the 100 degree mark for the weekend, experts want parents realize how hot cars can get in such a short time.

Within minutes of leaving a child in the car, the baby could end up dead.

Northwest Texas Hospital trauma nurse Julie Poindexter says, "in as little as ten minutes, the temperature can rise 20 degrees higher than outside and within 30 minutes it could go as high as 34, 35 degrees higher than what it is on the outside."

That, coupled with the fact that children's bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults, could spell disaster.

If you suspect your child has heat stroke, get her to a cool room immediately and call 9-1-1.  Heat stroke signs include hot, red, dry skin and rapid, shallow breathing.  Also, look for restlesness, confusion, and vomiting.

Animal advocates also urge pet owners to keep their pets out of hot cars this summer because they, too, could end up with brain damage or death if in a car for even a short time.  They can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads on their feet.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs or cats include glazed eyes, rapid pulse, red or purple tongue, and vomiting.  Get your pet to a vet immediately if you see these signs.  Or if you are outside, get to the shade and pat them with cool, damp towels on the neck, chest, and head and call your vet.