Hot weather through Independence Day, NWS warns people not to leave children in cars

With sunny and hot temperatures in the forecast, the National Weather Service in San Angelo has released critical “children and hot cars safety tips.”

According to NWS, it will be mostly sunny and hot in the Concho Valley Saturday, with a high near 98 and heat index values as high as 101 and a south wind 10 to 15 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. Saturday evening will be partly cloudy, with a low around 76 and south wind 10 to 15 mph.

An isolated shower or thunderstorm is possible Saturday afternoon and evening, generally west of a Haskell to Sterling City to Ozona line. Brief heavy downpours will be possible with any storm that develops, but most areas will remain dry Saturday afternoon. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms are also possible across the Big Country, beginning late Sunday afternoon and continuing Sunday night.

However, nothing but hot and partly cloudy weather is expected in the Concho Valley.

Sunday and Independence Day are expected to be hot with afternoon highs from 96 to 100 degrees, early morning lows mostly in the upper 70s in the Big Country and mostly in the mid 70s south of Interstate 20. Afternoon heat indices will reach 100-105 degrees across much of the area.

Because of the hot and mostly dry weather, NWS reminds everyone that 677 children have died in hot cars since 1998, and that 54 percent of them were ‘accidental’ and 29 percent were children playing in unattended vehicles.

“It is important that all parents realize that it can happen to anyone,” NWS stated.

According to NWS, most cases occur when there is a change in a person’s normal daily routine. They drive the child at a time when they usually don’t. Their brain goes on ‘auto-pilot’ and they continue along with their normal routine.

To prevent it from happening, NWS encourages everyone to develop a habit of always checking the backseat even when they know a child is not there, and to put an important item in the backseat with the child, such as a purse, wallet, phone, briefcase or even take of one of their shoes.

Because children have a tendency to trap themselves inside the cabin or trunk when playing in an unattended vehicle it is also important that vehicle owners always keep the vehicle locked or unlocking devices out of reach.

According to NWS, young children in hot cars can have a heat stroke in just minutes.

“Never leave a child in a vehicle,” NWS said.