Medics warn of hot car dangers even on mild days
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
With temperatures rising into the 90s, it’s that time of year to be wary of leaving children or pets inside cars, even if it doesn’t feel too hot outside.
During the summer, hot temperatures outside can heat up the inside of a car quickly, but Charleston medics said that even on a breezy, 70-degree day, in the shade, anyone inside the car for a period of time is in danger.
Medics said each year about 37 children are die because they were left in a hot car. But even relatively mild days can be dangerous.
Medical Supervisor Robert Mace said on a 70-degree day, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to about 110 degrees.
"In a short period of time obviously a child doesn’t have the same response as an adult to cool them self down, so it can be a very rapid response to which a child becomes unconscious and dies in a hot vehicle,” Mace said.
In Mingo County, Heather Bailey is facing charges of child neglect after deputies said she left her two small children in a car with no air conditioning and the windows rolled up for nearly five hours. They lived, but earlier this week in Kentucky, a 2-year-old child was found unresponsive inside a car and later died.
"People think ok I'm just going to be in there a little while I’ll leave the windows down, but what happened inside a vehicle is it basically becomes a greenhouse so the radiant heat from the sun makes it heat rapidly I mean you can have as much as 20 degrees increase in temperature in 10 minutes,” Mace said.
Mace said heat strokes can happen when the body reaches a core temperature of 104 degrees.
"It should never come to that state where a child is left unattended for any reason inside of a vehicle,” Mace said.
Mace said it’s also important to keep your car locked to make sure a child doesn’t get in and then get trapped inside.
If you see someone, whether it be a child or an adult, or even a pet, in a car for too long, call 911.