Wichita police are investigating an incident in which a child was rushed to a Wichita hospital in critical condition after being found Monday afternoon in the family’s car by her father.
She and her siblings had apparently been playing hide and seek in the 300 block of South Belmont when she was found in the hot vehicle, according to Sgt. Jesse Hancock of Wichita’s Patrol East substation.
The parents of the girl called Sedgwick County 911 at 5:20 p.m. Monday requesting emergency medical services, Hancock said.
Hancock would not release the girl’s age. No one is sure, at this point, how long the girl was in the car.
“It is a preliminary investigation,” he said. “It is tough not being able to talk with the child.”
Hancock said it is not a criminal investigation.
“We have no guidelines of which way this is going to go,” he said. “Watch your kids. Know where they are and know that cars are really, really dangerous places and heat up quick on a day like this.”
The temperature in Wichita was 88 degrees at 4:59 p.m., said Eric Schminke, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita.
He added that on June 1, the National Weather Service issued a public information statement encouraging Kansans to be on the lookout for when the atmosphere turns up the summer heat.
“These are the deadliest weather hazards,” he said. “People must never leave pets or children unattended in a vehicle for any duration.”
In an e-mail to The Eagle on Monday evening, Jan Null, a certified consulting meteorologist with San Jose State University, wrote that “with an outside air temperature of approximately 88 degrees, the inside air temperature of the car could have been in excess of 135 degrees. Objects or a person inside the car in direct sunlight would have been significantly hotter.”
Hancock said that in the police investigation, “Everybody will be interviewed, and we will try to find out exactly what happened and will try to be tender with the parents right now. It is traumatic for them and the siblings.”