4-year-old girl hospitalized after climbing into hot car in McHenry

- A 4-year-old girl from northwest suburban McHenry is hospitalized after she became trapped in a hot car.

Police say the girl apparently got in the car without her family's knowledge.

Doctors say in this kind of heat, it takes no time at all for a car to become a deathtrap.

Temperatures were in the low 90's Tuesday afternoon when police say the girl apparently overheard talk about going to grandma's house for dinner.

The girl became excited and went outside her home on Holly Court in unincorporated McHenry and got into the family car. Fifteen or twenty minutes later, sheriff's police say the girl’s mom noticed her daughter was missing and began to search for her.

She found the girl trapped inside the car, unresponsive but breathing, and called 911.

Emergency crews rush the girl to a local hospital and she was later transferred to Advocate Children's Hospital at Lutheran General in Park Ridge.
"We're always on high alert on weather like this,” said Dr. John Howard.

Pediatric emergency physician John Howard of Lutheran General says it doesn't take long on a sunny hot day for trouble to happen. Studies show temperatures in a closed car in direct sunlight on a 90 degree day can quickly soar to as much as 170 degrees.

“The problem for children that's different than adults is they cannot dissipate heat as efficiently as adults can. They're more prone to heat related injuries and that can happen very quickly in environments like cars, or a football field or soccer field or things like that,” Howard said.

McHenry County Sheriffs say they are continuing to investigate what went wrong, but say the parents are cooperating with that investigation.

Doctors say it is never okay to leave a child or pet in a hot car, as temperatures can climb as much as 30 degrees higher than the outside temperature in just 30 minutes.

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