Friday, July 8, 2011

The Summer Oven

On a hot day you know it will also be hot inside your car-- but do you know how hot it can get?
When the outside temperature reaches 86F, the inside of a car can quickly rise to 134-154F degrees!

Also, did you know that even mild or cooler temperatures can turn the interior of a car into a death trap?

One research study revealed that a car sitting in 72F degrees with windows opened 1 1/2 inches still had a rapid rise in inside temperature within the first half hour to 117F! Many think that "cracking the window" open a little will help but this study found that did not have any effect on the maximum temperature reached inside the car.

Even in the fall and winter months there have been recorded deaths from hot cars in places as far north as Maine, Wisconsin and South Dakota.
It is being suggested to use an "add 40" rule to outside temperatures to approximate how hot the inside of your car can reach.

Why is this dangerous? Heatstroke occurs when a person's body temperature exceeds 104F degrees. At just a few degrees higher, cells are damaged and internal organs begin to shut down, which can result in death.

"Children are particularly vulnerable, as their bodies are not as efficient as adults' bodies at managing temperatures. As a result, kids warm up much more rapidly." (

According to the organization, Kids and Cars, in 2009 48 cihldren died after being left or trapped inside a hot car. Texas leads the nation with deaths from being left in hot cars, followed by Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

Many small children are accidentally left behind in a hot car.

Some tips to help tired and/or distracted parents to remember a child in in the back seat or car seat or to prevent being accidentally trapped:

* keep a stuffed animal on the passenger seat as a reminder
* Make a habit to check the rear seat for "one last look" before leaving it
* Always lock your car and keep remotes and keys away from children
To learn more:

Please remember your pets and elderly as well! Have a safe summer!