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Heat alerts and just how hot does it get inside a stationery car?

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Warning: this post makes the use of ALL-CAPS.

Bill Dunphy of the Hamilton Spectator set out the other day to measure the heat inside an unmoving car – this after a few deaths across the east coast under this extreme heat warning that much of Canada and the US is enduring right now.

He says:

  • The temperature inside a closed car doesn’t so much rise as it rockets.
  • The thermometer stopped working after about 15 minutes inside the oven that used to be my car, right after the air temperature climbed past 50C [or about 120 degrees Celsius].
  • The humidex came in at a chart-topping 79 [or about 175 degrees Fahrenheit].
  • It was too hot even for thermometers.

DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME !! All-caps for emphasis.

Dunphy was monitored in a staged experiment, with paramedics at his side (outside) and he was wired to an electrocardiogram. The results will prove to you that this is not something for you to try. EVER.

All thermometers used in the experiment died – not able to cope with the heat inside the car.

So the answer is, DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN (OR ADULTS) OR PETS ALONE IN CARS IN THIS HEAT. Death will occur. Murder charges may be laid. All-caps for emphasis.

There are three stages of heat illness:

  1. Heat exposure — excessive sweating, fatigue, thirst and cramps in your arms and legs.
  2. Heat exhaustion — dizziness, headaches, light-headedness, skin that is cool and moist.
  3. Heat stroke — a body temperature of 40C (104F), skin hot and dry, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, racing heart, confusion, unconsciousness, seizures.

For more on how to cope with this heat, see the article here: The Toronto Star.

More stories about health.

Photo credit: iQoncept – Fotolia.com

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