A three-year-old boy died near Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon after becoming trapped in a car outside of his Sylmar home as high heat gripped the area, according to the Associated Press.
The child was playing outside when he apparently crawled into the car and became overwhelmed with heat and could not escape, Officer Bruce Borihanh of the Los Angeles Police Department said. The boy was found at 3:30 p.m. PDT by his brother. Firefighters transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Temperatures in the area topped at 95 F at the time of the incident. According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, temperatures have been slightly higher than normal stretching back into last week.
Especially in high heat, the interior of a vehicle can reach well into the 100s. Car windows act as a catalyst for rapid temperature increase inside the vehicle.
In only 10 minutes, temperatures can increase by 19 degrees. In one to two hours, the temperature inside a car can increase between 45 and 50 degrees according to a study by Jan Null, CCM at San Francisco State University.
On average, 38 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being left inside motor vehicles, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit child safety organization.
This is the 19th hot car-related death so far in 2014 according to Null.
"It is imperative people are cautious and double check their cars before leaving a child or animal in a sweltering car," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.
Hot car heatstroke deaths are preventable. Always check the backseat before locking doors as well as follow other tips from Safercar.gov and KidsandCars.org:
2. Keep a large teddy bear or stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty. Move the teddy bear when the child is in the car seat as a visual reminder. Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, brief case, etc., in the backseat.
3. Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in the garage.
4. If you see an unattended child in a car, call 911 immediately.
5. Be vigilant about always checking the backseat before you lock the doors.
Some communities on the Florida Peninsula will be hit hard with severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.
As a strong El Niño fades, the weather across the country will slowly change. In much of the eastern United States, a hot summer is in store.
A system with rain and thunderstorms will bring both good and bad news to the western United States later this week.
A massive wildfire is threatening the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, forcing people out of their homes.
As millions prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8, rain and severe storms threaten to disrupt outdoor activities and travel plans.
With the return of wet weather in the Northeast, many people are asking: When will the rain go away?
Monroe, LA (1989)
Severe hailstorm (hail as big as oranges) damaged thousands of cars.
El Campo, TX (1991)
Winds gust to 105 mph during a severe thunderstorm.
Prudhoe Bay, AK (1992)
Low temperature of minus 19 -- all-time May low temperature for area.