COLLEGE STATION, Texas — We are heading into the triple digits for weather this week and with the rising heat, it is important to remember not to leave your pets or children inside a hot vehicle.
It’s a simple mistake that could quickly turn deadly.
Just this past weekend, a 17-month old Oklahoma City boy died when his mother left him in the car. The temperature was in the 90's and the heat index was around 100 degrees.
“Pediatric heatstroke is what we’re worried about. It can happen very easily and quickly in a car. The car acts kind of like a greenhouse, where even if the temperature is not really hot outside, the inside of the car can get very hot," said CHI St. Joseph Dr. Bryan Pickett.
You can get a heatstroke in the car when you are unable to get rid of the heat in your body. Even if the windows are cracked, the inside of the car can still get hot quickly. Even if a child doesn’t die from the heatstroke after being left in the car, medical problems could be long-lasting.
“You can have permanent neurological problems because of heat stroke. We see deaths every year because of pediatric heatstroke from being in cars. The problems can vary, you can have confusion, weakness, difficulty seeing or hearing, just like with any other stroke," said Dr. Pickett.
Leaving a child or pet inside your car unattended is not only dangerous but it is also illegal in the state of Texas
“It’s against state law to leave your child in the car alone for more than five minutes. If they’re less than seven and they’re not attended by someone who’s less than 14. That’s state law. That’s punishable by a fine of five hundred dollars," said College Station Police Officer Tristen Lopez
The city also has a specific ordinance just for pet safety in the heat.
“[It] says if it is at least 85 degrees outside, you can’t leave your pet in the car for longer than 5 minutes because it’s just too dangerous. When you look at specifics of car temperatures when it’s 85 degrees outside, in ten minutes it can be 104 degrees inside your car and in 30 minutes it can be 119 degrees inside your car," said Lopez.
The College Station Police Department says if you see something, say something and contact your local police department.