EL CENTRO — El Centro Fire Department units responded on On Tuesday, May 28, at 5:08 p.m., to a report of a child left unattended in a parked and locked vehicle, according to a ECFD press release.

A rescue squad was dispatched to the 2100 block of North Waterman Avenue where the child was found inside a non-operating vehicle, the release said. One rescue squad, one AMR ambulance, and one battalion chief responded to the incident to rescue and provide and medical care for the child. The first El Centro Fire Department unit arrived on scene within two minutes of the; temperature in El Centro at this particular time was measured at 87F degrees. 

In the release, El Centro firefighters reminded the public that sometimes babies are so peaceful and quiet in the back seat that one can forget they are even there. However, leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke, even in cooler temperatures.

Facts about Heatstroke

 On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.

 A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. In addition, cracking a window does not help.

 Young children are particularly at risk, as their body’s heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Tips for Preventing Accidental Heatstroke in Children Help reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.

1. Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Moreover, make sure to keep your car locked when you are not inside so kids do not get in on their own.  

2. Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other reminder in your child’s car seat when it is empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Alternatively, place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child. 

3. Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations

Learn more about protecting kids by visiting www.safekids.org where you can find information about heatstroke and other areas of safety in and around cars.

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