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Doctors share dangers of leaving kids in hot cars

KTSM
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POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 3:41am

UPDATED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 8:58am

It may be every parent's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, children accidentally left in hot cars is a real issue.

"I could never imagine leaving my daughter or forgetting her in the car just because she's so important," said mother Alyssa Loweree.

Loweree said it's upsetting to hear many parents accidentally forget their child in the car, especially during summer months.

"I find it kind of irresponsible to leave your kid. You should always know where your child is at all times," said Loweree.

The temperature inside cars can rise twenty degrees in just ten minutes and that can be devastating to a child.

"Never leave your child alone in the car even for a minute, whether they're in a car seat or not,” said Dr. James Fortenberry. “An infant doesn't tolerate heat as well as, as an adult… and so their cells can be injured.”

Injuries can be serious, even deadly. The organization Kidsandcars.org said on average, 38 children die in the U.S. every year.

The organization released a public service announcement carrying a strong message in an effort to save lives.

Most recently here in El Paso, 5-month-old Janay Ives died from the heat after police said her mother Wakesha Ives left her in an SUV outside Riverside High School on May 10.

While Loweree said it would not happen to her, she understands where something could go terribly wrong.

"I could see why maybe parents would get confused or forget they left their kid in the car especially with more than one child because it could be overwhelming being a parent sometimes,” said Loweree.

Experts said these tragedies are preventable. Parents could put one of their child's stuffed animals in the passenger's seat or leave their purse or laptop next to the baby's car seat.

For more information, visit http://www.kidsandcars.org/.

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