Don’t leave your dog in a hot car. It could die. (file photo)

Don’t leave loved ones in hot cars

Cars can turn into ovens in the hot summer sun

I thought it was hot last week, but the heat over the last few days really takes the cake.

The temperatures have hit the 30s in Duncan for several days now, which is the hottest I have ever seen it get anywhere on the Island.

I’ve been down south to the Caribbean on vacation a few times in recent years, and even the temperatures at the time of year that I usually go there rarely hit 30 C.

I’m originally from a much cooler part of the east coast of the country where people consider 25 C a stifling hot day, so when the thermometer climbs above 30, it’s like walking on the surface of the sun for a guy like me.

I’m just thankful that the office I’m sitting in while writing this column is air conditioned or I’m pretty sure my fingers would melt into the keyboard.

I’ve taken to jumping in the ocean after work each day and try to keep my body under the water until my core temperature finally returns to normal.

With the temperatures approaching those of the planet Mercury, the police and health authorities have, once again, raised the alarms about leaving children and pets in vehicles on hot days.

I don’t think people really mean any harm to their kids and pets when they jump out of their cars and leave them there in the heat.

I’m sure that most feel that whatever it is they have to do will only take a moment and the temperature in the car will not rise significantly enough to make any difference to the occupants in that time.

But, inevitably, something seems to always happen to delay returning immediately to the car and time slips quickly away.

And it really doesn’t take much time for the interior of a car to reach the temperatures of an oven when sitting in the sun.

A few years ago, a couple of colleagues of mine decided to test their limits in a hot car on a sunny summer day and see how long they could stand it before they had to flee the furnace.

I believe it was slightly less than 20 minutes and they were forced to scramble, soaking wet in sweat and a little disoriented, out of the car.

They said it wasn’t that bad at first, but the temperature climbed rapidly and it got so hot that they were beginning to have trouble breathing and were afraid they would pass out from heat prostration before they could exit the vehicle.

I recall both of them sitting on the sidewalk next to the car for some time trying to catch their breath and cool down.

They looked like the survivors of some major catastrophe and I was surprised at just how quickly a situation like this could turn into a life-and-death crisis.

They had a thermometer with them in the car to record the temperatures and I can’t remember exactly how hot it got.

But the website says that during a day that is just 26 C and sunny, temperatures in a car quickly rise to as much as 77 C.

So I guess it’s safe to assume the temperature gets even higher in a vehicle when it’s above 30 C outside.

I don’t know just how hot a human body has to get before it faces serious health consequences or how long it takes to get there, but it’s known that if a body temperature goes above 40 C, it can be fatal.

So folks, these are the facts you should keep in mind when dashing from your car to pick up a jug of milk on a sunny day with the kids in the back.

If you’re irresponsible enough to leave them in the car long enough to be noticed by others, you could be talking to a police officer when you return.

RELATED: Video: VPD officer yells at mom after kids left in hot car

Or, heavens forbid, something much worse can happen.

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