As the sun pounded down on yet another steamy summer day, Harris County Deputy Sam Cerda humanized the importance of recognizing July 31, 2013 as National Heatstroke Prevention Day.
"As a parent and grandparent, not having had little ones for a long time, I've got six grandchildren," he said. " Having car seats again, worrying about the heat, it all comes back into play again."
Nationwide, at least 24 children have died of heatstroke so far this year, according to information gathered by researchers at San Francisco State University. As temperatures continue to rise, emergency responders are using this mid-summer mark to remind us about the dangers of children in hot cars. The sheriff's social media team used twitter to spread heat related facts like: A child's body absorbs more heat on a hot day than adults. They asked and answered questions like: If you see a child locked in, are you still legally able to break a car window to get the child after 911 is called?
"You would probably be covered under the Good Samaritan Act," Cerda said.
Heat related dangers don't end with the car ride. Babies don't have as many sweat glands as adults, so they don't sweat as much. A trip to the zoo, an outdoor stroller ride, even a meal on a restaurant patio can spike a child's heart rate and body temperature. And if a tired child ‘s deep sleep could also end in tragedy.
"Overheating can be an increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)," said Meredith Stedham, with The Motherhood Center.
Meredith Stedham is an educator at The Motherhood Center. She helps educate new moms on parenting, that includes learning about products designed for little ones.
"A lot of our clients really enjoy using infant carriers and slings," she said. "They can be very convenient."
During the summer, it's important to use products made with lighter materials and fabrics. A product made of heavier fabrics, combined with an adult's body heat can add to a child's discomfort.
"Just like we would not go out and jog in Memorial Park with our winter coat on, you want to be careful about how many layers and what kinds of fabric when your surrounding your infant. "