Pediatrician: Car can become oven-like death trap

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 9:16pm

We're learning more about the 2-year-old victim who died Sunday morning, after being left in a hot car. The girl has been identified by police as Hailey Marie Harper and as police continue their investigation into the child's death, Borderland doctors continue to warn parents of the dangers of leaving kids inside hot cars.

Under the blazing heat of the El Paso sun, car temps can quickly spike, leading to a potentially dangerous situation.

"Extreme heat can put the child at risk of they start with heat cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke and eventually death,” Dr. Osama Anaga, a Pediatrician based in West El Paso said.

It's a sad reminder as the Borderland deals with two cases of kids left in hot cars all in the span of one week. A 2-year-old boy is recovering after being left inside of car in East El Paso, his temperature when help arrived 106 degrees. "Cause also liver failure or kidney failure, heart failure actually"

Then days later out of Far East El Paso, a 2-year-old lost her life on Sunday.

"It's terrible,” Kyle Phillips, a West El Pasoan explained.
"I think it is awful, of course,” Gummi Thordarson, another West El Pasoan said.

Police have not released just how long little Hailey Harper was inside a hot car. "Once the temperature inside the car is 120 is like oven. It's called oven-like death trap,” Anaga said.

Earlier this evening, we demonstrated just how hot a vehicle can get. A cup of ice, instantly turning into water in just half an hour. National organizations, like Kids and Cars, has been reminding parents how quickly the temps inside a car can reach up to 133 degrees, even if it's 40 to 50 degrees cooler outside.

"We have had cases where children have died in as little as 15 minutes,” Janette Fannell, the Founder and President of Kids and Cars explained to us over Skype.

Experts have urged parents to leave their bags, phones, and even their left shoe with their child, to remind them they're in the back seat.

"If people realize that it can happen to them because it really isn't a failure in our memory system, it's not a failure of love for our children,” Fannel said.

TxDot is also reminding drivers to check if their kids are in the car. Their billboards will remind drivers to check their backseats for the next week.


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