PANORAMA CITY (CBSLA.com) — Police and health officials Thursday warned the public about the dangers of leaving a child alone in a hot vehicle following the death of a Sylmar toddler.
Representatives from LAPD Valley Traffic Division and Children’s Hospital used a display of two vehicles equipped with thermometers – one vehicle with the windows closed and one with the windows cracked open – to show how quickly temperatures can rise in such conditions.
Within 10 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise nearly 20 degrees, while in up to two hours, the inside of a car can become 45 to 50 degrees hotter, according to officials.
LAPD Detective Bill Bustos said that leaving the windows slightly cracked has very little effect on keeping vehicles cool.
“If the temperatures were to be up into the 80s today, it would be approximately 130 degrees inside,” Bustos said. “In direct sunlight, the dashboard, steering wheel and other items inside the car could near 200 degrees.”
While the 3-year-old boy – whose name has yet to be released – who died in Sylmar was not locked inside the car, some local temperatures in the San Fernando Valley hovered near 100 degrees.
Police declined to say how long he might have been in the vehicle when firefighters arrived.
It was unclear if the boy’s parents would be charged in the death.
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