Fort Worth Police arrested a man for allegedly leaving his five children in a hot car during 99 degree temperatures.
Police said they were called at about 8 p.m. on Sunday to Littlejohn Avenue in Southeast Fort Worth by callers who witnessed the children in the car.
When they arrived at the car they found five children either sleeping or passed out in the car. The engine was running, but there was no air conditioning.
The children were taken to a local hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion. They were aged 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 years old.
Leal, who is 29 years old, was taken to Tarrant County Jail and charged with five counts of abandonment/endangerment to a child. He was held on a $1,000 bond.
Texas health care officials explained how deadly the situation could be.
"In temperatures like we're seeing right now in North Texas, the inside of that vehicle in a matter of minutes can go to 140, 150 degrees, which means that the body temperature of the child inside that car is going to go 104,105 degrees and the child's vital organs - the brain, the heart, the kidneys cannot function at that level of temperature," said Matt Zavadsky of MedStar.
He went on to say that MedStar has measured an uptick in incidents of children being left in hot cars in Texas.
"We've often wondered why there's been such an increase and we really think that it might just be a there a lot of people that have moved here that aren't used to this kind of weather, perhaps, and where they came from might not have been as hot," Zavadsky added. "Secondly, parents today are very distracted."
Experts say placing something like a wallet, cellphone, employee ID, or purse in the backseat when a child is in the car will help people avoid accidentally leaving them when they get out of the car.
Here's more on preventing such awful tragedies:
Look Before You Lock | Commissioner Causey Hosts Hot Cars Demonstration www.youtube.com