An easy-to-use table of vehicle temperature changes has been developed to caution people about deadly consequences of vehicle-related hyperthermia in children.
Researchers at the University of Georgia found that in hot weather, the temperature inside a car in an open parking lot can rise by 7 degrees Fahrenheit in five minutes, 13 degrees in 10 minutes, 29 degrees in 30 minutes and 47 degrees in an hour.
They were able to combine the rising temperatures inside a closed car with the way they would interact with the so-called "human thermal budget."
"Furthermore, the efficiency of evaporative cooling would be reduced as evaporated perspiration accumulated in the vehicle."
The researchers came up with a chart that brings home clearly just what a serious decision it is to leave a child in a closed car in hot weather even for a few minutes.
However, the new easy-to-use table could offer government officials and health agencies a way to quantify warnings.
The research is published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.