JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The temperatures are warming up and so are the vehicles sitting outside.
But just how hot can a car get?
Officer Mike Owens with Jonesboro Animal Control said a car can heat up faster than you might think.
"Let's say it's 90 degrees outside," Owens said. "The inside of your car can run up to 120 to 130 degrees. And this can happen in minutes."
The biggest threats for these temperatures are the pets and children people leave in the car.
"A dog's body temperature on average is between 101 and 102," Owens said. "So, anything over that and the dog will start to get in distress. At 104 degrees he's in danger of being overheated. At 106 degrees things get crucial."
Owens said Jonesboro Animal Control officers use an infrared thermometer to test the temperature of a car when they respond to an animal incident.
To show just how quickly a car can get hot, Owens tested his vehicle with the air on and off.
With the air conditioner running, the roof tested 88 degrees and the seat at 76.
Officer Owens then turned the vehicle off, cracked the windows and left for fifteen minutes.
When he returned, you could say the temperature had gone up!
"The seats are now at 98 degrees," Owens said. "The roof is now at 110 degrees. And that's in just fifteen minutes."
Owens said people need be aware of how quickly things can become dangerous for the passenger that can't get out if they get too hot.
"What you have to understand is the roof of that vehicle is where all the heat is going," Owens said. "Even though the windows are cracked and the wind is blowing that heat is constant in there. It may cool off for just a little bit when the wind blows, but then it's going to heat right back up. If the humidity is really high, it doesn't make any difference how hard the wind is blowing. It's just not going to be comfortable in that car."
Owens also said leaving your car and air running isn't a fix.
If your vehicle is sitting still, the air inside the car isn't going to be as cool as when the vehicle is in motion.
"Kids in a car, their body temperature will rise three to five times quicker than an adult," Owens said. "Kids temperatures run around 98.6. Once they get to 102 degrees, that's a crucial moment for them. 104 degrees is even worse on them."
Owens also cautioned about how hot the pavement can get when you're walking your pet.
"What people need to understand is that pavement gets really, really hot," Owens said. "It may be 80 degrees outside, but that pavement will be running around 130 degrees. So, it would be like you walking barefoot on that pavement. The sidewalks tend to stay a little cooler. The best thing to do is keep them in the grass."
According to a study at KidsAndCars.org, eighty-seven percent of children who have died from vehicular heat stroke are age 3 and younger.
Fifty-four percent of heat stroke deaths are in vehicles involving children ages one and younger.
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