PALM HARBOR, Fla. (FOX 13) - In 2018, 58 children died nationwide as a result of hot car deaths. In an effort to combat this staggering statistic, Palm Harbor Fire Rescue hosted a demonstration Wednesday in an effort to show just how quickly the temperature inside a car can rise.
It only takes minutes for the inside of a car to reach 125 degrees. Add Florida heat to the equation and the risk is even greater for pets and children left inside the car.
During Palm Harbor Fire's demonstration, the inside temperature of their car on display spiked to nearly 160 degrees, despite the outside temperature being only 80 degrees.
Fire rescue is warning parents to always double check their back seat, as this is one of the most avoidable deaths. Although it's a warning that's been issued time and time again, it's something officials said all parents need to pay attention to.
More than 50 percent of hot car deaths are simply a mistake made by a very stressed out parent.
"Being out of routine, being tired, sleep deprived, because you may have a young child who may have not slept. You get distracted, your brain gets distracted. You may feel like you're focused, but it's kind of like, you know how sometimes you take the wrong turn and you are like 'shoot I was not supposed to turn here'- that's how that can happen," said Petra Vybiralova with Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue said new cars will remind you to check the backseat, but if you don't have that new technology, you can download apps to your phone that provides the same reminder.
Officials also suggest leaving things such as your phone, purse or even shoe in the backseat as a reminder to check for pets or children as these are all items you wouldn't leave the car without.