Los Angeles: Boy Dies in Hot Car Amid High Temperatures

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
August 2, 2014; 2:45 AM ET
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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.

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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:

1. Never leave a child alone in a car.

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.

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