According to an article from last year’s Momlogic Newsletter, 23 U.S. children died by mid-summer, 2010, in hot cars. Many of them were incidents in which the parent/care taker forgot the child was in the car upon arriving at their destination…and the kiddo remained in the car for hours (or minutes) thereafter and perished in the heat of what can basically become an oven on wheels.
As mentioned in the Momlogic article, approximately 36 American children die every year in hot cars. And according to a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, a car’s interior can heat up by 40 degrees within an hour–even if it’s a relatively cool day outside. It all has to do with the size and shape of the car and whether or not the sun is out…plus the fact that the car’s windows act like a circumferential set of inward-facing magnifying glasses.
According to this article on the National Weather Service website, “Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.”
***Follow any of the links above to learn more, especially additional hints about kids and car safety.