GREENSBORO, N.C. — Kids and pets should never be left in a car.
Not even with the windows down and in the shade.
Just don't do it.
A study published in Pediatrics found when a car window is closed, temperatures rise about 3.4° per minute. With the windows rolled down eight inches, the temperature still rose 3.1° a minute.
So, 92° when you leave the car becomes 107° in that five minutes you ran in to get something. That is killer heat.
According to NHTSA In 2018 and 2019, a record 53 children died of vehicular heatstroke each year. The majority of hot car deaths — 53% — happen because someone forgets a child in a car.
Parents and caregivers, get in the habit of always looking inside your car before locking the doors. Remember: Park. Look. Lock. And always ask yourself, "Where's Baby?"
These temperatures aren't safe for other things too. For example, consistent heat exposure can change the effectiveness of your medicine. Don't keep any kinds of medicine in your car.
The same goes for that bottle of sunscreen from that last hike or beach trip. Heat causes sunscreen to break down.
Your water bottle should be taken out of the car too. The heat causes chemicals to leach out of a regular plastic water bottle.
The best way to cool down a hot car when you get into it:
Consumer Reports says once you start driving, open all the windows, turn on the AC and crank the fan. Once the cold air starts, close the front window but leave the back ones partially open for 20 seconds, this will allow the hot air to escape out the back of your car.