Using Precautions in Extreme Heat

JUNE 15, 2005 -- Crime scene tape blocks a driveway and police cars line the streets of an Alabama neighborhood. It looks like the scene of a horrific crime, but it was likely an accident.

A ten-month-old baby died after being left in a car for several hours. It's a tragedy that could have easily happened here.

New Hanover County EMS Supervisor Chris Gilmore says his department is starting to see an increase in heat-related calls.

"The heat inside a car can rise very quickly, going from a climate controlled 70 degrees to 140 degrees in just a few minutes, not something a child can regulate," says Gilmore.

On this hottest day of the year News 6 performed a test. Inside reporter Justin Smith's car, with the air on full blast, the temperature was a comfortable 76 degrees. Then when the car was turned off, 15 minutes later the thermometer had maxed out at 120 degrees.

That's too hot for anyone, especially small children.

"It's a good idea to have a spare key. Just make sure you're kids are secured before your car is secured. It's your top priority," says Gilmore.

Reported by Justin Smith