Adults experience what it's like to be trapped in a hot car

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Thursday, July 16, 2015
To demonstrate the effects of leaving a child in a hot car, Kars4Kids asked adults to try it out for 10 minutes.

It doesn't have to be very hot outside for the temperature in a locked car to quickly become unbearable, especially for children. The non-profit group Kars4Kids challenged adults to see if they could last 10 minutes in a hot car as a poignant reminder of the dangers of leavings kids alone in the car, even for just a few minutes.

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Volunteers were buckled into a car-seat in the back of a car and told they could press a button if it got too hot. If they lasted a full 10 minutes, they would be rewarded with $100.

As the video demonstrates, many of them were shocked at what the experience was like. They sweat and try to fan themselves, but eventually wind up pressing the button.

"That was one of the worst things I've ever gone through in my life," one man said after getting out of the car and dousing himself with water.

Participants said the demonstration helped them more fully understand the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car.

"I can only imagine how a child or a baby would feel in there, just waiting for someone to come and get them," another participant said.

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children 14 and younger, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The temperature inside a car can reach 110 degrees even if it's just 60 degrees outside. On average, of the 37 children that die of vehicular heat stroke each year, more than half were left because they were forgotten, according to

The NHTSA recommends the following tips for parents when driving with a child in the car:

  • Always check the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away.
  • Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child's car seat when it's empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
  • If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.

Kars4Kids, the group that organized the experiment, has a free app that reminds people when they have their baby in the backseat.