Summer is about a lot of things. Ice cream, beach days, picnics with friends and family — all great, iconic summer activities. Unfortunately, summertime also has a dark side: The onset of warm weather brings with it a serious spike in the number of sad news stories about children and animals left in sealed, hot cars. Sometimes, these stories end well, with a hero like Officer Martin Smith saving the day.
However, unfortunately, many of these stories end in tragedy. As the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office showed in this hot car demonstration in Georgia, it’s a very uncomfortable situation for anyone, and small children and animals have a much harder time regulating body temperature in extreme heat. In a car parked in a sunny lot this time of year, the internal temperature can get extreme very, very quickly. An infant left in a sealed car can die in as a few as 10 minutes.
In order to highlight this frequently overlooked risk, non-profit Kars4Kids conducted an experiment, in the form of a contest. They invited adults to try staying in a closed-off sedan parked in direct sunlight. If they could stay put for 10 minutes, the participant would win $100. If they needed to escape, they could press a button to leave. Honestly, I don’t think the money is worth what it takes to win…