As temperatures across the nation soar this summer, so do the deaths of children and pets left inside vehicles.
From 1998 to May 2011, 500 children have died because they were left in hot vehicles, according to Consumer Reports.
Whether you're running a quick errand or taking a road trip, it's important to understand just how quickly the temperature inside an enclosed car can rise.
Short-wave energy from the sun enters vehicles through the relatively transparent nature of their windows. The internal objects in the automobile heat the air inside and give off long-wave energy, which is not able to escape from the vehicle.
Children and animals are less able to handle this extreme heat than adults and are more susceptible to hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia, a medical emergency when the body produces or absorbs more heat that is can dissipate, can lead to brain damage, kidney failure and death.
More than half of all child hyperthermia fatalities in the United States from 1998 to 2009 were children under two years old.
According to a study by San Francisco State University (SFSU), temperatures in a closed automobile rose approximately 19 degrees in just 10 minutes, 29 degrees after 20 minutes, 34 degrees in 30 minutes and 43 degrees in an hour. The temperature could increase 50 degrees after a second hour.
The Animal Protection Institute (API) conducted their own study that showed that deadly temperatures can quickly build inside a closed vehicle, even with moderately warm temperatures outside.
The study found that even at 9 a.m. with an outside temperature of 82 degrees, the closed automobile registered 109 degrees inside. When the outside temperature rose to 112 degrees at 1:30 p.m., the closed vehicle reached 124 degrees.
The API's study also measured vehicles with cracked windows. With four windows cracked, a 88-degree day outside turned into a 103-degree sauna inside the vehicle at 10 a.m. When the temperature rose to 110 degrees at 2 p.m. that day, the internal temperature rose to 123 degrees.
Although there was a drop in the internal temperature of an automobile with cracked windows, the data from these studies shows leaving a child or pet inside remains a perilous choice.
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. If you see a child in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1.
Matthew has become a hurricane in the Caribbean and may approach the U.S. during next week.
It will feel like an extended winter for those living from the northern Plains to the eastern U.S., as cold and snowy conditions last longer than normal.
Persistent downpours will raise the flood risk in part of the mid-Atlantic into Friday night, while rain will spread over the balance of the northeastern United States into the weekend.
Millions of people across the U.S. could be exposed to drinking water contaminated with chemicals from firefighting foam, according to a recent study.
The final day of September will bring a rare lunar event that hasn’t occurred since March of 2014, a Black Moon.
The holiday weekend will start on an unsettled note, but the weather should improve by Day of German Unity celebrations on Monday.
San Diego, CA (1970)
Strong Santa Ana winds create fire disaster in interior parts of county (September 25 to 30); 500,000 acres burned.
Lander, NY (1982)
15.4 inches of of snow (29th-30th). Total of 32.9 inches for month (Sept. record).
Record dry September: Pittsburgh, PA - Only 0.28" this month; driest September on record (old record 0.57 inches in 1893) Greensboro, NC - Driest month ever (only a trace of rain) Columbia, SC - Only 0.07" of rain.