Prosper, TX,
15:57 PM

As Texas Heats Up, Cook Children's Experts Remind Adults to Double Check the Backseat for Children

Prosper Fire Department and Cook Children's experts remind adults to double check the backseat for children.

Media partners may use this content for news stories and broadcasts with credit to Cook Children's.

Story by Eline Wiggins. Video by Tom Riehm. Photos by Reilly Ternan.

Every year, children in Texas are prone to vehicular heatstroke. So far this year, eight children have died of vehicular heatstroke across the US, including a 4-year-old boy in Houston, according to In 2022, three children died of vehicular heatstroke in Texas. Hot Car Dangers Demonstration Prosper

On Monday, Cook Children's and Prosper Fire Department teamed up to remind parents about the dangers of hot cars. First responders showed a live demonstration at Cook Children’s Medical Center – Prosper to simulate a 911 call and emergency response for a child left in a hot car. Speakers included Prosper Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame, Viviana Esparza from Cook Children’s Center for Community Health, Meena Guirguis, M.D,, emergency department physician at Cook Children's Medical Center - Prosper and  Larry Lanar Dyer of El Dorado Chevrolet.

A digital thermometer displayed the internal temperature of a second demonstration vehicle to show how high and how quickly a vehicle can heat up. The temperature inside the vehicle surged passed 135 degrees. 

Young children are particularly at risk for heatstroke, or hyperthermia, because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. Because cars heat up so quickly, a tragedy could happen faster than you think.Hot Car Dangers Demonstration Prosper

“Heatstroke in children can happen in minutes, not hours,” said Meena Guirguis, M.D., emergency department physician with Cook Children's Medical Center - Prosper. “If you see a child left in a vehicle, call 911 immediately.” 

A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t help. It’s never OK to leave a child alone in a car, even for a few minutes and even if the car is running. Hot Car Dangers Demonstration Prosper

“Parents suffer from exhaustion due to lack of sleep, stress and changes in their normal routing. Any one of these can cause your memory to fail at a time when you least expect it,” according to “Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.”

Create reminders by placing something in the back of your car next to your child, such as one of your shoes, a purse or a cell phone, is especially important on days when you're not following a normal routine. Hot Car Dangers Demonstration Prosper

To reduce the number of child vehicular heatstroke deaths, parents should remember to ACT:

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunks— including in your driveway or garage. If a child goes missing, check the pool first, and then check the vehicles, including trunks.
  • Create reminders. Routinely place something you'll need at your next stop—like a purse, briefcase or cellphone—in the backseat.
  • Take Action. If you see a child alone in a car, take action. Call 911.

What to do if you see a child or pet alone in a vehicle from

  • Don’t wait for the driver to return. Call 911 right away. The 911 operator can help give you instructions on how to care for the child or pet.
  • If the child or pet is not responsive or is in distress, immediately:
    • Get them out of the car by any means necessary
    • Move the them to a cooler environment (somewhere with AC or shade if AC is not available)
    • Remove child’s clothing to let the heat dissipate from their skin
    • Dampen them with cool water or wet rags, immerse in cool water (not in an ice bath) 
  • If the child or pet is responsive and not in distress:
    • Stay with them until help arrives
    • Ask someone else if they can locate the driver. You might suggest they ask security of a store manager to page them

Warning Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Hot, flush or red
  • Slow, weak pulse or strong, rapid pulse
  • Lethargy, confusion or strange behavior
  • Nausea
  • No sweating
B-Roll and interviews: Dangers of hot cars demonstration at Cook Children's Medical Center - Prosper.