The death of two toddlers from vehicular heat strokes prompted the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office and Brownsville Police Department to take action by having two volunteers sit a vehicle with no air conditioning for 20 minutes.
Cameron County District Attorney’s Oﬃce Public Information Officer Yvette Vela and Gabriel Gonzales with the City of Brownsville were the brave individuals who demonstrated how hot a turned off vehicle can get
It was part of a collaborative effort to raise awareness on leaving kids, pets and elderly in hot cars.
“To suffer death as a result of heat is like torture,” Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz said. “It’s a horrible death that is suffered by these children, elderly and pets.”
The District Attorney also collaborated with Emergency Room Physician Dr. Kazim Hussain.
“Keep in mind that babies have a very lousy thermostat system in their body, their water reserve is very minimal,” Dr. Hussain said. “Anytime in this kind of heat the baby is left [in a car] even for a few minutes, the temperature can go up to 105 degrees and that’s the definition of a heat stroke.”
If you encounter a child in a locked car, Brownsville Police Department Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez encourages you to break the window.
Once the child is out, a wet towel could be used for cooling down. If the victim is conscious, water can be given.
“A parent can be charged with leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, which is a lesser crime but when anybody suffers an injury or is placed in a dangerous situation the parents or guardians can and will be held accountable for it,” Rodriguez said.
This is the fourth time the District Attorney’s Office has campaigned for awareness on child vehicular heat strokes.