HOUSTON - According to the Houston Fire Department, a young boy has died after going into cardiac arrest due to being left in a hot car on Thursday.
Evan Trapolino, 3, was found in a car in north Houston in the 1200 block of Hopper Road around 2 p.m.
"He's a beautiful baby and kid. We have great times together all the time," Efrain Lopez, Evan's grandfather, said.
According to police, the boy left the house without his parent's knowledge and entered the car through the front door, possibly to retrieve a toy in the backseat. When he got to the backseat, he was unable to exit the vehicle due to child-safety locks.
The family realized he was missing and searched for his for around 30-45 minutes before finding him in the backseat. They immediately called 911 and started CPR.
"They called 911 and started doing CPR and when they loaded him into the ambulance and left they were still doing CPR," neighbor Chris Johnson, said.
The boy was taken to Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
No charges have been filed, but the case is still under investigation by Houston police and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Neighbors describe the little boy who passed away as energetic and always on the go.
"I have kids or my own and it's sad and it hurts because he's our neighbor," neighbor Marlene Gonzalez said.
They're heartbroken by what they believe is a tragic accident.
Neighbors said the community is tight knit and they're taking this loss hard.
"It hurt. I grew up with the mom. We see the little boy out here playing all the time. We have parties here at the house and they come over," Johnson said. "All the kids gets together and play. Water balloon fights and stuff like that. He's the poster child for being the energizer bunny. So, it's not easy news."
All of southeast Texas is under a Heat Advisory until 7 p.m.
In a release, HFD EMS Medical Director Dr. David Persse explains, "It's usually some sort of a guardian who just plain forgets because there's a change in routine. But the other situation that we sometimes see is that kids will get into a car and they'll be playing around the car and they'll accidentally lock it and the child will panic and they don't know how to unlock the car."
6 Tips to Prevent Hot Car Deaths
- Place your cell phone, briefcase, purse or other important item in the backseat before driving to your destination. This will get you in the routine of checking the backseat every day.
- Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
- Thirty percent of the deaths in the U.S. have occurred when a child climbed into an unlocked vehicle. Before getting out of the car, check to be sure everyone is out and lock all doors.
- Communicate planned absences with daycare providers. Ask them to call you if your child does not arrive on time, and they have not heard from you.
- Educate your children about not playing in and around vehicles.
- If you see a child alone in a car, dial 911 immediately.
KPRC will provide updates when they become available.
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