Texas leads the nation in hot car child deaths


LUBBOCK, Texas — It happens within minutes. You turn off the car, close the door and forget about the child in the backseat. 

According to a study done by noheatstroke.org, Texas leads the county in pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths, with 119 within the last 20 years. 

Dr. Juan Fitz, an ER Physician at Covenant Medical Center, said children heat faster than adults, and even if the car is on and running, it is still dangerous to leave a child in the car. 

“A child will heat seven times faster than an adult,” Fitz said. “There were 52 deaths last year from kids being left in the car.”

Fitz said when he sees children in the hospital who have been in a hot car, there are serious side effects.

“By the time we get to see them they’re already dehydrated,” Fitz said. “So they’re already in a bad situation, their brains will swell, and they’ll have seizures.”

Mother of two, Lauren Orta, said she has tips to keep herself from getting distracted while in the car. 

“Sometimes what I’ll do is I’ll put my purse, wallet, or cell phone back there with my kiddos,” Orta said. “That way I know I’m not going to leave that.”

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