• 34°

Weather Wednesday: Leaving a child in a vehicle in hot weather can lead to tragedy

By Steve Monday

Rowan County Weather

It’s an unfortunate story that you hear every summer. A parent leaves a child in the car unattended with the engine off and the windows rolled up.

On average, 37 children die in hot cars each year in the United States.

When a parent or caregiver leaves a baby or young child in a car, the end result can be injury or even death.

I wanted to be able to deliver a message that may save a child’s life. This week, Rowan County Weather, The Salisbury Post, and the Salisbury Fire Department conducted a test to see how hot the internal temperature of a vehicle gets on a summer day.

The plan was simple: We placed a thermometer outside in the shade to get the actual air temperature. We also placed a thermometer inside a vehicle to get the internal temperature.

The weather conditions throughout the test were overcast skies with a constant 81-degree temperature.

The results inside the vehicle were changing dramatically. Within the first 10 minutes, the inside of the vehicle had warmed to 95 degrees.

“The internal temperature of the car can heat up to 80 percent of its maximum temperature within 20 minutes,” said Lt. Brantley Shanks of the Salisbury Fire Department.

After the 20-minute mark, the interior of the vehicle had warmed to 98 degrees.

When asked about what a deadly temperature inside a vehicle would be, Shanks said, “A core temperature of 105 degrees would be a temperature that could be fatal.”

According to livescience.com, it’s difficult to predict when heatstroke will strike, largely because the condition involves many factors. These include a person’s age, weight and health conditions, the researchers said.

However, most cases happen when a child’s core body temperature rises above 104 degrees for an extended period of time.

As we concluded our test after 40 minutes, the vehicle’s internal temperature had maxed out at 98 degrees.

Now don’t let that give you a safe feeling. Had the sun briefly popped out during our test, the internal temperature of the vehicle would have certainly crossed the 105 degree deadly temperature.

According to the National Weather Service, a vehicle parked in direct sunlight will reach an estimated 123 degrees internally within 60 minutes.

There are various phone apps available for download such as Waze you can install on your phone. Waze gives a reminder to get your child out of the car once you reach your destination.

There are other apps you can download as well, such as Precious Cargo and Kars4Kids.

The reminders these apps can offer are invaluable.

In closing, I want to thank the Salisbury Fire Department, Chief Jay Baker and Lt. Shanks for assisting in this test that may provide information to save a child’s life.

 

Comments

Education

School board talks competency-based learning, receives new offer on Faith Elementary

Business

Chamber of Commerce warns buyers about used tractor company with Cleveland address

Local

American Legion Post plans cocktail sip

Local

Harold B. Jarrett Post to host blood drive

Coronavirus

17 new COVID-19 cases, one new death reported

Education

School meals expect a smooth transition for students

Nation/World

Fully vaccinated people can gather without masks, CDC says

Local

Lane, ramp closures scheduled for I-85 in Salisbury

Crime

Blotter: March 8

Ask Us

Ask Us: How can homebound seniors be vaccinated?

Local

Political Notebook: Interim health director to talk COVID-19 at county Democrats breakfast

Local

‘Their names liveth forevermore:’ Officials dedicate Fire Station No. 6 to fallen firefighters Monroe, Isler

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged for breaking into Salisbury High, getting juvenile to help

Nation/World

With virus aid in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month