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First responders sweat it out in hot car to demonstrate dangers of high temperatures

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT
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SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WAVE) - On average, 38 children die each year in the United States from being left in hot cars, according to national data.

“People always say, ‘I just can’t see how that would happen. I just can’t see that I would ever do that,’” Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls said. “It’s happened to the children of doctors, police officers, lawyers, school teachers, all the professions you’d think they would know, they wouldn’t do something like that. It’s happened.”

Thursday, first responders went to extreme lengths to prevent another tragedy.

Jordan Yuodis with the Jefferson County Fire Service and Sgt. Huls climbed into a police cruiser, shut the doors, and turned off the air conditioning to remind parents and guardians of the dangers of leaving their children inside the car, either on accident, or on purpose. EMS stood by during the demonstration.

A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However within two minutes, Yuodis was visibly sweating.

Within 10 minutes, the car reached 101 degrees; in 15 minutes, it heated up to 120 degrees, and the demonstration ended. The men exited the car sweaty, lightheaded, and their heartrate and blood pressure were both elevated.

“It’s almost cold out here,” Yuodis said as he climbed out of the car.

Yuodis told WAVE 3 News the most common reason children are left in cars is because their parent or caregiver forgets they’re there.

“A lot of times peoples’ routines get thrown off, they’re taking a kid to day care they don’t normally take to day care, they get to work; they forget just that quick,” Yuodis said. “Within a matter of a few minutes the temperature in a car can raise 10, 15, 20 degrees.”

To help avoid making the same mistake, first responders recommend checking the back seats before locking your car, or putting your cell phone, purse, or briefcase in the back seat.

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