As temperatures begin to cool in the Borderland, it might be easy to forget that the dangers of hot cars left in the sun are still very real.
According to KidsandCars.org, which tracks hot car deaths throughout the country, 42 people have died this year as a result of being stuck in hot vehicles. A 2-year-old toddler recently died in New Mexico, after her babysitter left her in a car for hours.
ABC-7 crews tested a car left out in 92 degree weather this week. According to a thermometer, the inside temperature of the car was 129 degrees.
Chairperson to Extreme Weather Task Force in El Paso, Grace Ortiz, said it may only take minutes for tragedy to strike.
“We think things are real easy and I’m gonna leave my sleeping baby in the car for five minutes while I run into the store,” she said. “And what happens? Within those five minutes, the car can get up to 123 degrees and that baby can pass away quickly or organ damage right away, within minutes.”
Ortiz said it’s important to remember that it’s not just kids who are at risk.
“Our society, we’re just so busy, and we always have so much going on, and we’re constantly looking for ways to cut corners and make things easier for us,” she said. “But if you leave a child, if you leave a pet or you leave a senior person in the car for 5 minutes, it can be deadly, it could be a tragedy and it’s something that we can avoid.”