US

1-Year-Old Dies in Hot SUV While Father Worked at Restaurant

A 1-year-old boy died on June 22 after being left inside a hot SUV in south Texas for about five hours, police said.

The boy’s father, who worked at Los Lazos Mexican restaurant, started his shift around 11 a.m., the Galveston Police Department told the Houston Chronicle. He returned to his Chevrolet Tahoe around 4 p.m. and discovered that his son was alive but unresponsive.

Emergency services were called, and the boy was immediately transferred to University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he was pronounced dead, ABC 13 reported.

ABC 13 reported that the incident is under investigation, but no charges have yet been filed.

According to the daily temperature record released by the National Weather Service (NWS), temperatures reached a high of 92 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday in Galveston, which is 53 miles southeast of Houston.

A similar but separate death occurred on June 22 in Aubrey, about 50 miles north of Dallas, according to the Dallas Morning News. A 4-year-old was found in critical condition in the car on Friday by a family member and was airlifted to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. The child died on Saturday morning at the hospital.

NoHeatStroke.org, a website that monitors hot car deaths around the United States, suggests that this is already the 13th case of a child dying of heat exhaustion in closed vehicles this year, but the hottest months of 2019 are yet to come, based on NWS’s historical data.

Five Texas children died last year in hot cars, according to NoHeatStroke.org.

Dangerous Situation

Heatkills.org, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that when outdoor temperatures range between 80 and 100 degrees, the interior of the car can get to 130 to 172 degrees. However, even lower temperatures can be dangerous.

“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees. Basically, the car becomes a greenhouse. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees,” stated Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, according to the website.

Meanwhile, Safercar.gov offers the following advice to parents:
  • Always check the back seats of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away.
  • Keep a stuffed animal or other mementos in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
  • If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.
  • Experts have noted that a car’s temperature can rise 20 degrees Fahrenheit in under 10 minutes.

Epoch Times reporter Janita Kan contributed to this report.