ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The rising hot temperatures create rising threats, especially for kids left in hot cars.
“They go through the stages of grief just like you would with any loss of a family member, but when it’s due to a preventable situation, there’s really not an easy way to recover from that. Some families don’t recover from that,” said Dr. Danielle Mercurio with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.READ MORE: Trump says he took the Fifth in questioning in New York Attorney General fraud investigation
Dr. Mercurio says the heat is not something to underestimate.
“The temperature on a hot day in a vehicle can rise approximately two degrees every minute,” said Dr. Mercurio.
It takes less than five minutes for a child to start showing symptoms.
“Starts with fussiness, because they just start to generally feel unwell, and then it progresses to signs of shock, so their heart rate goes up, their blood pressure goes down. They have break down of their muscle,” said Dr. Mercurio.
This safety video shows that a baby will then start to throw up and look more agitated as it gets hotter.READ MORE: Gabby Petito's Family Seeks $50 Million From Utah Police Department For Inadequate Response To Brian Laundrie's Abuse
“They start to lose their blood pressure completely, they breathe slowly, they can turn blue. It can be really devastating, they can have liver failure,” said Dr. Mercurio.
“This is so serious. This is life and death. But it’s preventable,” said Lieutenant Garth Swingle with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.
Unfortunately it’s a scenario Lt. Swingle knows well.
“There’s every variation from child completely fine or we unlock the car to a child in cardiac arrest,” said Swingle.
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“Their cell phone, if they have an automatic car, the keys, anything, a briefcase, anything you need to get through your day, put that next to your child and then it’s impossible for you to arrive at your work space, and it’s impossible for you to still have that child in the backseat,” said Dr. Mercurio.