Jul 15, 2010 7:34 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Dangerous Heat in Cars

It's that time of year when the temperatures are soaring. Those numbers are in the mid-to-high 90's and the heat index in reaching 110-degrees. The hot summer days are also a time when folks often participate in out-door activities. But, officials are warning of the dangers that may come along with being inside.

Thursday afternoon, students at the National EMS Academy in Lafayette participated in a mock training. The scene involved a mother who found her 4 year old son unconscious in a hot vehicle.

"The training here was just making sure they understand how to handle patients in this weather... as hot as it is right now," said Mitch Trahan, Education Coordinator with EMS Academy.

Trahan says small children, infants, the elderly and even animals are all vulnerable in hot cars. He says the temperature can rise in a matter of minutes.

"If it's 95-105 degrees outside... the inside of a car can reach anywhere from 130-140 degrees."

Those temperatures can be extremely harmful for children. Kids are at risk for heat stoke, high fever, dehydration, seizures, stroke and death. In fact, so far this year, 19 children have died trapped in hot cars.

Parents we spoke with at Girard Park had their input on the matter. "I think it's sad, it's very unfortunate, but it can happen to anybody." "Parents just need to wake up and realize that it's just too hot to leave kids in the car." "I can't imagine leaving children unattended anywhere much less in a car where the heat is so bad in South Louisiana."

Dr. Scott Hamilton at Lafayette General Medical Center says he's seen numerous cases every year of children either being left behind or forgotten inside of cars. He says when children get into a hot car, they become uncomfortable and sleepy. They then pass out and dehydrated and their brain starts to cook. Hamilton has advice for those who may find a child unconscious in a car.

"Of course call 911... They need fluid as soon as possible. Definitely get them out of the car and into a cool place, an air conditioned place. If they wake up, get them to drink some fluids. The sooner their brought into a cool place, the better the chances are."

If you'd like more information about training with National EMS Academy call 1-866-459-3500 or visit



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