Ten minutes in a hot car proves too much for adults

It’s summer, which means as temperatures climb so too do instances of kids and pets dying in hot cars. To highlight the danger kids face, the creators of Kars4Kids, an app designed to remind parents that their child might still be in the car, gave six adults a simple challenge: sit in a hot car for 10 minutes, win $ 100 bucks.

Not one of the adults could complete the ten minutes. All became flustered and overheated before the time was up. The app developer provided a big red button for the grown ups to push when the heat became too much, but kids left in hot cars on a summer’s day don’t get that luxury, and their bodies are also less efficient at cooling off than adult bodies. Kars4Kids also strapped the adults into a child’s car seat, which are usually made of thick padding and polyesters that retain heat.

Kids being left in cars is a widespread problem in the US. A child dies every nine days after being left too long in a hot car, according to the advocacy group Kids And Cars. On the other end of the temperature scale, on average, 38 children die from hyperthermia in cars every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While it is easy to brand parents who leave children to swelter to death in hot cars as bad and neglectful, the truth is far more uncomfortable. These deaths are oftentimes the tragic result of a change in a weary parent’s routine or a simple lapse in concentration. It could happen to anyone, so be careful out there.

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