1-year-old boy dies in Texas after being left in hot car, police say; 13th death nationally in 2019

A 1-year-old child died Saturday after being left inside a hot car in Texas for about five hours, police said.

This is the 13th case of a child dying of heat exhaustion in ovenlike cars nationally this year, according to NoHeatStroke.org, with the hottest months of the year still to come.

A parent left the child in their Chevrolet Tahoe when they went to work at 11 a.m., the Galveston Police Department told The Houston Chronicle. When the parent returned around 4 p.m., the boy was unresponsive.

With the high reaching 92 degrees Saturday, experts said the air temperature in the truck likely exceeded 135 degrees.

Fatal facts:Hot cars can hit deadly, oven-like temperatures in as little as one hour

Medical staff pronounced the boy dead at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

An investigation is ongoing and no names have been released.

Saturday's case came two days after a 4-year-old child died in a hot car about 300 miles away in Providence Village, Texas, according to NoHeatStroke.org. The high reached 98 degrees that day.

An average of 38 children die while trapped in hot vehicles every year, according to Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Jose State University. A record 52 children died last year.

Milestone:In the past 20 years, 800 children died while trapped inside oven-like cars

Since 1998, 54% of U.S. children who died in a hot car were forgotten by a parent or child in a vehicle. Children have difficultly escaping a hot car on their own, and their respiratory and circulatory systems can't handle heat as well as those of adults.

Direct sunlight heats objects inside cars, so temperatures inside cars can soar as high as 130 degrees, even when external temperatures are much lower. The body's natural cooling methods, such as sweating, begin to shut down once the body's core temperature reaches around 104 degrees. Death can occur at 107 degrees.

July is usually the deadliest month for children in hot cars, with a record 16 deaths in 1999, Null previously told USA TODAY.

Contributing: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY