I get ‘The Daily Upworthiest‘ each day in my inbox. This typically brings inspiring videos or ‘good’ news items as a way of not being inundated with the (Bad) News of the day. Today’s is important enough that it bears repeating.
In the Summer, cars can get extraordinarily hot in just a short period of time. Data by McLaren, Null and Quinn, published in the journal Pediatrics in 2005 demonstrated the rapidity in which car interiors heated up even in when the ambient temperature was not excessive. Using a dark-blue 2000 Honda Accord with medium-gray interior and without tinted windows as a test vehicle, they measured temperature rise over time. Even with ambient temperatures as low as 73 degrees F, the vehicle heated up to above 110 degrees F by 60 minutes.
Of course you would never leave your dog / child in the car for 60 minutes. Perhaps only 10 minutes tops, right? This still would result in temperatures above 90 degrees F, even on a cool day.
What about if I leave the window cracked? Admittedly, this helps, keeping the car up to 20 degrees cooler than if windows were up, but there was still an alarming spike in temperature.
Most importantly, these experiments were done under conditions without someone inside the car warming it up from the inside and filling it with carbon dioxide. That’s not an easy test to do seriously, however, here’s where The Upworthiest comes in… you can watch this video of adults being offered $100 for being willing to remain inside a car for just ten minutes.
A 107 degrees body temperature is lethal – something attained at a rate of about 37 cases a year since 1998. Most commonly, victims are less than 1 year old and were simply ‘forgotten’ in the car (slipped the caregiver’s mind while running an errand, or unintentionally left for hours.)
The message is clear, Never leave children (or animals) inside a closed vehicle, even when it is not particularly hot outside.
My favorite suggestion, comes from Morris Franco of Kars4Kids, who was quoted in the Upworthiest article saying,
“Have a stuffed animal designated in the car seat always. When strapping in the child to the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the passenger seat. This will serve as a reminder to the driver upon reaching their destination that your child is in the backseat.
Have a good summer and stay out of the heat!