By Brooke Katz

(CBSDFW.COM) – As the Texas heat cranks up, experts warn parents to stay vigilant.

CBS 11 News spoke with Cinthia Vega, an injury prevention specialist with Children’s Health. She said hot cars are a huge concern.

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“Texas does lead the nation on children that die in hot cars,” Vega said. “We’re one of the hottest states as well.”

She said you have to “ACT” to prevent these deaths:

  • Avoid leaving a child alone.
  • Create reminders: put your phone or purse in the backseat.
  • Take action! If you see a child left alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately.

As for letting the kids play outside, Vega had a few suggestions.

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“Bring them to a shaded area, take breaks, obviously, don’t forget your sunscreen,” she said. She also emphasized the importance of hydration. Parents should also watch out for warning signs of a heat-related illness.

“I know kids will become dizzy, disoriented,” she explained. “They will have hot, dry skin.”

When it comes to heat exhaustion, you may notice a child sweating with cold, clammy skin. They may be tired or dizzy. If that’s the case, get them to a cool place, loosen their clothing and get them water to sip on.

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For heat stroke you should watch out for hot dry or damp skin, a strong and fast pulse, dizziness, confusion or even fainting. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and you need to call 911.