Hot cars can become death traps in less than 20 minutes

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 18:50:22-04

It may be tempting to leave the kids or pets in the car for a few minutes when you think you'll be quick inside a store. But it doesn't take long for that hot car to become a death trap.

A reporter volunteered to spend 20 minutes inside a car, windows up, with no air conditioning. It took just three minutes for him to feel uncomfortable. The dashboard reached 140 degrees within five minutes, and after 10, the reporter became lethargic.

Fifteen minutes inside the enclosed car, and sweat was soaking through the reporter's shirt and pants. At 20 minutes, paramedics standing by began to notices signs of heat exhaustion, and pulled him out of the car.

"The first thing I noticed at the 20-minute mark I felt cool. It was the coolest I had felt in the car since I started this", he said.

The amount of oxygen in his blood dropped from 98 percent before the experiment to 95 percent after. And his body temperature had risen from 97 degrees to 100 degrees.

Another three degrees could have caused a lot of damage. Death is a real possibility when the body reaches 107 degrees, especially for children, whose bodies heat up a lot faster than adults.

This experiment was monitored by medical professionals, please do not try this at home.

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