VIDEO: More than 50 children in the U.S. died from heatstroke after being left in hot cars last year.
Rising temperatures during the summer are one reason why parents must be more alert than ever when driving with children in the back seat.
“It doesn’t take as long as you think it will to build up to a dangerous situation inside a car,” said Gulfport Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt. “It’s terribly dangerous for young children. Most of the heat increase takes place in the first half hour.”
That rise in temperature is called the greenhouse effect. The fire department used a thermal imaging camera to demonstrate on a WLOX News car. At the time of the test, the temperature in Gulfport was 90 degrees.
“112 (degrees) just shooting at the window here on the outside of the car,” said firefighter Lt. Tim Ishee, pointing the thermal imaging camera at the vehicle. “That’s just the residual heat coming off of the car.”