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.
Travel hazards, delays and disruptions associated with rain, ice and snow will continue over the Central states through the balance of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Following a mild Thanksgiving and Black Friday, noticeably cooler air will return to the Northeast this weekend.
Sandra remains on track to make landfall in northern Mexico on Saturday, but it will be much weaker than its current hurricane status.
The current reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last long with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final days of November.
Several days of heavy rain will bring the potential to cause flooding from the southern Plains to the middle Mississippi Valley into early next week.
Compared to Thanksgiving Day in 2014, this Thanksgiving will be substantially warmer in the Northeast.
Nation devastated by terrible floods -- 400 people killed.
O'Fallon, MD (1990)
Strong downburst from a thunderstorm caused an apartment to collapse, injuring 25 people.
New England Coast (1898)
Famous "Portland" storm formed off Cape Cod with loss of 200 lives. Many others were lost to the raging sea in 50 small vessels. A total of 27 inches of snow in New London, CT; 15 inches at Waterbury, CT. Peak wind was 72 mph in Boston. Boston received more than a foot of snow.