Photo Credit Glynn County EMA Facebook page
The Glynn County EMA has sent out a warning regarding the heat index this past week. According to the psa, heat is typically the leading cause of weather-related fatalities each year. Heat waves have the potential to cover a large area, exposing a high number of people to a hazardous combination of heat and humidity, which can be very taxing on the body.
The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively “transparent” to the sun’s shortwave radiation (yellow in figure below) and are warmed little. However, this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard, steering wheel or seat temperatures often are in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.

These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, childseat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation (red) which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.

On an 80-degree day

Animations of a 70-degree day or 90-degree day
MP4 Animation
Images courtesy of GM and Jan Null, San Jose State University

Studies show that temperatures rise in enclosed cars at the following average rate:

10 minutes ~ 19 deg F
20 minutes ~ 29 deg F
30 minutes ~ 34 deg F
60 minutes ~ 43 deg F
1 to 2 hours ~ 45-50 deg F
2 to 4 hours ~ 50-55 deg F

Two-thirds of the heating occurs in the first 20 minutes and “Cracking” the windows had little (i.e., < 3 deg.) effect on the heat.  The vehicle interior color probably biggest factor.

This summer please keep your pets, your children and yourselves safe.  If you feel symptoms of heat stroke such as:  dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, hot dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heart beat, hallucinations, please seek help immediately.

Remember, “Children’s thermoregulatory systems are not as efficient as an adult’s and their body temperatures warm at a rate 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s.” ~ Noheatstroke.org

According to the Heat Stress and Safety website, any person with signs or symptoms of heat stroke requires immediate hospitalization. However, first aid should be immediately administered. This includes removing the victim to a cool area, thoroughly soaking the clothing with water, and vigorously fanning the body to increase cooling. Further treatment at a medical facility should be directed to the continuation of the cooling process and the monitoring of complications which often accompany the heat stroke. Early recognition and treatment of heat stroke are the only means of preventing permanent brain damage or death.

Keep cool, keep hydrated and stay safe!

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Carrie Magalski
Carrie Magalski is the Media and Public Relations Contact for All on Georgia- Glynn County. A speaker and the author of "Heaven's Angels" book, her inspiring articles, writings and radio interviews are featured in various multi-media venues. Her leadership roles encompasses higher education, broadcast communications, business, and corporate trainings through Coastal Pines Technical College. She is a seasoned professional with excellent relationship building skills and creates and enhances strategic growth through partnerships with community, corporate and governmental agencies through various multimedia modalities. She is the owner of Immersion Enterprises, LLC- which provides corporate trainings, PR and marketing, as well as ecotourism and experiential education services through Turtle Tides Amelia. Carrie serves on the Board of Directors of Back in His Arms Again, a ministry that helps families suffering from infant loss.

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