Check out these hot car safety tips from Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Did you know in 70-degree weather the temperature inside of a vehicle can rise to over 115 degrees within an hour? These conditions can be fatal to individuals as their body temperature can rise up to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. For children it can happen 3 to 5 times quicker because they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been over 900 hot car deaths involving children since 1998 in the U.S. Over 50% of those deaths were children ages 2 years old and younger. This year alone, there has been one death involving a child in a hot vehicle in Fort Bend County.
Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is not only dangerous, but it is also a criminal offense. Texas Penal Code Title 5, Chapter 22, Section 10, Leaving a Child in a Vehicle states the following:
a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a vehicle for longer than five minutes knowing that the child is younger than seven years of age and not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older.
b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor and is seen as a form of neglectful supervision that is investigated by CPS.
Parents and guardians, stay aware of your surroundings and before leaving your vehicle, double check your back seats. Know where your children are at all times. This applies to the elderly and animals in vehicles as well.