Hospital staff demonstrates being stuck in hot car

- "I could feel my heart rate go up a bit and begin to get really thirsty, and progressively more uncomfortable," described Halls.

Hospital officials want families to listen up. They don't want anyone to leave their children inside a hot car this summer.

Six children have died nationwide already this year, from being left alone in a hot car.

Doctors said, if a child is left in a hot car, within the first 15 minutes their body temperature could rise enough to cause serious organ and brain damage.

"It really doesn't take long at all for them to pass out. Their heart rate begins to rise and then, ultimately, brain damage and death," said Dr. Jennifer Mayer with Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

Underneath the hot sun with no shade, Shawn Halls sweated it out.

"I wasn't fearful at all today, because I knew I could get out. At any moment I could get out, and that isn't the case for kids," he said.

Halls works at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and wanted to demonstrate what it's like to be trapped in a hot car. He began his demonstration at 11 Thursday morning. 

The doors remained shut and the air conditioning turned off. The temperature inside was 80° when he started.
After only 20 minutes, it rose to 99°.

Even if it was an accident, parents can face serious criminal charges. Sarasota Officer Danny Robbins said anyone who leaves a child in a car for over 15 minutes will be arrested.

"There is nothing they can do as far as getting themselves out of the seat. All they can do is cry," he said.

Officials suggest putting something like a purse or cell phone in the back of your car next to your child, to help avoid forgetting. The best thing to do is avoid distractions.

"It is completely preventable, and with a little bit of awareness of families, we can all stop this very tragic event from happening," said Dr. Mayer.

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