Hot car experiment: what happens to the body? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hot car experiment: what happens to the body?

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According to the Journal of Pediatrics, nine children have died from being left in a hot car this year alone.

The journal reports on average,hot cars kill 37 children each year.

The symptoms leading up to potential death are agonizing.

"It's almost intoxicating effects where people can lose their judgment, when it gets worse it can cause brain damage or seizure activity," said Waterloo Medical Officer Greg Stewart.

All those symptoms including dehydration and sweating can and will happen in minutes.

With the help of the Waterloo Fire Rescue team, KWWL's Olivia Mancino got into a hot car to see how she would fare.

First, Stewart took her temperature to get a base line -- 98.2 degrees.

They also hooked her up to a machine to check her heart rate and pulse.

As time went by, the conditions became more unbearable, especially the humidity.

"Every time you breathe out you're breathing out 100% humidity, that moisture is coming out of your body," said Stewart.

Olivia's body temperature increased every few minutes, and she was coated in sweat.

As time went on, breathing became more challenging, the sweating was profuse, and both Olivia and Stewart were ready to get out of the car.

But first, a final temperature check at the 15 minute mark: it was 102.3

Stewart says if it just two degrees higher, she would have had to get out of the car immediately--something a baby or pet locked in the car would never have a chance to do.

The experiment wasn't exact science, as many factors come into play such as the color of the car, interior, and even a person's physical fitness.

Regardless, the experiment was evidence enough it is never safe to leave any living thing in a hot car. 

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