AAA experiment warns drivers to keep children safe from hot car deaths in extreme heat

Hadas Kuznits
July 17, 2019 - 5:14 pm

Hadas Kuznitz/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Experts at AAA are taking some extra steps to keep children safe amid this week's soaring temperatures. 

Jana Tidwell, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, conducted an experiment to illustrate how dangerous it is to leave a child unattended in a hot car for any length of time and the results were eye-opening. 

She placed a thermometer on a dashboard along with a cookie sheet containing chocolate chips, a chocolate bar, and crayons. 

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The results showed just how quickly the internal temperature of a car can rise in the hot sun. “We're looking at 117 degrees and we've just had the car closed for 5 minutes!”

Temperatures soared to about 188 degrees within about 20 minutes, which caused the chocolate to soften and the crayons melt into puddles.

“What happens to a child, their internal organs begin to cook.”

Tidwell says there have been 20 heat-related car deaths in the US for this year. 

“A lot of times we see people who are out of their routine; especially in the summer months, which makes it easy to forget where you're supposed to be and who you're supposed to drop off.”

She says setting reminders can help ensure that people don't forget children in the hot car.

“Put your purse or your computer bag in the back seat of the car, which forces you to go to the back seat,” she said.