Los Angeles police officers gathered with representatives of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the parking lot of the Valley Traffic Division, where they set up two cars – one with the windows closed and one with them cracked – to demonstrate just how fast each car heats up inside that could potentially be fatal to anyone inside.
The demonstration was conducted as an effort to deter parents from leaving their children in cars, as 19 U.S. kids have died of heatstroke inside hot vehicles this year alone.
In about 12 minutes, a thermometer placed in the backseat of the car with the windows cracked jumped 32 degrees, to about 102 degrees. The vehicle without the windows cracked jumped to 120 degrees in the same time period. This was all before noon.
When a child’s body temperature reaches 104 degrees, organs begin shutting down. At 107 degrees, they die. Kids’ body temperatures rise between three and five times faster than adults.