The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that in 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can go up 20 degrees.
Even if the windows are down and the air conditioner is on, highway safety experts say you should never leave a child alone in a car. The North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal says that the state has the sixth-most deaths of children under 14 from heatstroke in the country. They say that every death in a car from heatstroke is preventable.
On Monday, Britax, a company that makes car seats and is based just across the border in South Carolina, spread the word about this issue.
Britax had a thermometer Monday that showed how hot it was outside compared to how hot it was inside a car. They also did free safety checks on car seats.
The screen showed that the temperature outside was 91.4 degrees, but the temperature inside was 156 degrees.
Amanda Renwald, a health educator with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, says that parents leave their kids in cars more often than people think.
The NCOSFM says that more than half of the kids who died from heatstroke in a car did so because a parent or caregiver forgot about them.
“A lot of the time, parents get in and go somewhere like the grocery store or work, and they don’t take their child with them,” she said. “Sometimes, simple things like this can make a caretaker forget that a child is in the back seat.”
She gives a few ideas for what parents can do to stop this from happening.
So, she said, “we want to make sure you know how important it is to leave something in the back seat next to your child’s car seat, like your purse or phone.” “Something that will make you go back and get it and remind you that your child is in the backseat. Since it’s so easy to forget. I know that parents have a lot on their plates, especially if they have a new baby or more than one child. It’s easy to forget, and even the best parents forget from time to time.”
Even if the windows are open, the engine is running, and the air conditioner is on, the NHTSA says you should never leave a child alone in a car.