Toddler dies in hot car
By Steven Alford, Jaime Powell
Updated Monday, July 12, 2010

ARANSAS COUNTY — An 18-month-old boy died Sunday after he was left inside a parked vehicle in Aransas County, sheriff’s department officials said.

One of the child’s parents called paramedics after finding the boy unresponsive in the vehicle about 3 p.m. in the 1300 block of Longoria Road, off State Highway 35 on the northern edge of Aransas Pass, the sheriff’s office reported.

The boy was in cardiac arrest when HALO-Flight medics arrived to take him by helicopter to Driscoll Children’s Hospital, said HALO-Flight paramedics.

The boy was pronounced dead on arrival at Driscoll, sheriff’s officials said. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed by the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Officials with the National Weather Service said temperatures reached a high of 92 in Rockport Sunday afternoon, with heat indexes making it feel like low 100s.

Child injury specialists say on a summer’s day the internal temperature of a car can reach 120 degrees within 15 minutes.

“It can happen very very quickly, especially in South Texas,” said Janet Pointer, trauma coordinator at Driscoll Children’s Hospital.

Hospital staff give presentations each summer to local organizations warning of the dangers of leaving unattended people in cars.

“Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, whether it’s running or not,” Pointer said. “You think you’ll be right back in a minute, but that’s how quickly the temperature can rise inside.”

Child Protective Services and the Aransas County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a joint investigation.