Medical Monday: Preventing hot car deaths

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As temperatures continue to heat up, it's important to stay vigilant about protecting children from hot car deaths. Doctors say it only takes minutes for a car to heat up and lead to death. Also, hot car deaths can occur in any temperature.

According to Pediatric Surgeon Beth Walford, "Kids' temperature can go up 20 degrees in 10 minutes. So, if it's 80 degrees outside, they could be up to 100 degrees in 10 minutes. There have been children who have died in cars when it was 60 degrees outside."

Dr. Walford says one method to prevent accidentally leaving a child in a hot car is to put some item, such as a purse or cell phone, in the back so you have to look in the back seat before locking the car.

"Another good trick that some people use is to put a large stuffed animal in the car seat when it's not being used, and when you put your child into the car seat or into the back seat, you move that stuffed animal up to the front seat with you," said Dr. Walford.

Florida is second behind Texas for the highest number of childhood hot car deaths.