Parked cars even more dangerous as heat indexes rise - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Parked cars even more dangerous as heat indexes rise


On the hottest days of the year, medical officials are warning how dangerous the heat can be, especially a parked vehicle. Sadly 13 children have already died this year after being left in a hot car.

Leaving a child in a parked car is dangerous on a normal day, but it is deadly on a day like Monday.

WTOC did an experiment to see just how hot it can get inside a parked vehicle, and it's clear on days like Monday, it can get dangerously hot dangerously fast.

On the hottest day of the year, it's no surprise kids are trying to beat the heat.

"Because it's really hot out, and they make the water really cool, so it cools us down," said tourist Nora Lewis.

The Savannah area saw temperatures reach 98 degrees on Monday with a heat index climbing to 110 degrees. With the recent number of reports of children dying in hot cars, it's no surprise that the car is even more dangerous on days like Monday.

"It's like a small casserole," said SCMPD Cpl. John Simmons. "And whoever, or whatever, is inside is just baking. You know, pets, children, seniors cannot handle the heat, as well as people in their young to mid age, you've got to take precautions."

In an effort to test the rising temperatures, we watched the temperature rise in an already cooled down vehicle.

"In about 10 minutes, it actually jumped more than 10 degrees," said Simmons.

And in 20 minutes, about the time it takes to run an errand, the parked car went from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, and it wasn't even the hottest part of the day.

Doctors say this can be dangerous even when it's not 90 degrees outside.

"This can be a matter of minutes," said E.R. doctor Dr. Jason Pope. "Heat can rise in a car, especially in temperatures like we have out there [on Monday] within just five minutes. Heat can be dangerously high for a child in a car and with heat like we have [on Monday], death can occur within 30 to 45 minutes."

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