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Imperial County firefighters warn of heatstroke in children left in vehicles


IMPERIAL, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Firefighters say it’s crucial for parents to check the backseat of their car every single time they arrive at their destination.

As temperatures rise so do calls across the country.  

Children left in hot cars and some don’t make it out alive.

“Temperatures can exceed usually in a hot car typical day exceed over 120 degrees easily with direct sunlight in a garage it can easily access over 200 degrees with long exposures that can lead to death,” said Connor Phillips, firefighter.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration heatstroke is the number one killer of children next to car crashes.

Imperial County is much too familiar with this tragedy. Last year firefighters responded to 19 calls.

This year calls remain at zero and that is potentially tied to the pandemic cutting down on driving.

Still, Imperial County firefighters urge the community to be careful.

Children’s body temperatures can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult.

“Anything over 95 degrees which we’re way past is to exerting for the body and umm our bodies aren’t meant for those types of climates so get your business done in and out the car back to the house there is no need to be out here if not necessary,” said Bryan Centeno, Engineer for Imperial County fire department.

Recognizing heat stroke symptoms can be life-saving.

“Uhh, you’ll notice confusion, rapid breathing, rapid pulse rate, nausea and vomiting and usually a person will not be sweating any more during a heat stroke.”

If you or someone is experiencing these symptoms call 911 immediately.

Resources for heat safety:

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Gianella Ghiglino

Peruvian-born and LA raised Gianella Ghiglino joins the team from the San Fernando valley. “LA is the place that taught me how to breath and Peru is my breath.” She says she was inspired by the community she grew up in and began documenting her experience through poetry at the age of 7. “I wrote about everything I saw, felt and everything that inspired me.” When she entered High School she joined her school news station and realized that broadcast journalism allowed her to pursue her passion and her purpose all at once. Gianella attended Cal State Northridge and received a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science. She did several internships while in College but most notably interned for PBS’s local LA station for three years. “My purpose is to share my story and of those in my community, my passion is writing.”


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