West Liberty Police Chief Kary Kinmonth recently demonstrated the dangers of summer heat, specifically how quickly a vehicle can heat up on a warm day. On June 13, Chief Kinmonth chose to sit in a vehicle parked in the sun with the windows rolled up and the motor off to show what can happen when a child or animal is left in a hot car for even a short period of time.
Chief Kinmonth said before entering the car that he would attempt to stay in the vehicle for 20 minutes, but if it became too hot to bear, he would exit the vehicle. Kinmonth said, “I’m doing this to raise awareness and get people thinking and looking out for each other. If you see a child or an animal in this kind of situation, call the police.”
Kinmonth entered the vehicle and began visibly sweating within three minutes. It was 91 degrees outside when he began the demonstration. After only one minute, the temperature inside the vehicle had risen to 102 degrees. After four minutes, it was 116 degrees, and after six minutes, the thermometer topped out at 120 degrees. Kinmonth remained in the vehicle for a total of 10 minutes and 35 seconds before deciding he needed out. He said he felt dizzy, wobbly, and lightheaded. Paramedics helped him into an ambulance they had prepared to help him cool down.
When Kinmonth entered the vehicle, his body temperature was 99 degrees. When he exited the vehicle, the thermometer was unable to give a clear reading. After eight minutes in the ambulance, his body temperature was still a high 103 degrees. It took a full 16 minutes and nearly three bottles of water before his temperature returned to normal.
The paramedics said if they were to find someone trapped in a car similar to Kinmonth’s situation, they would immediately start an IV of fluids and cool them with ice packs. Extremely high body temperatures are very dangerous, especially to children and animals. Kinmonth said, “I had the option to tap out and leave the vehicle. A child or an animal doesn’t have that option.” Kinmonth reminds everyone to be cautious during the hotter months and never leave children or animals unattended in a vehicle.
Even if it is only 60 degrees outside, a car can still heat up to above 110 degrees, causing serious injury or even death to a child left in the car. On an 80-degree day, a vehicle’s interior temperature can become hot enough to be fatal in just 10 minutes. Opening a window or parking in the shade is not enough to keep a vehicle cool when it is hot outside. Children’s bodies heat up much faster than those of adults, so they overheat much sooner than an adult would.
Kinmonth said sitting in the hot car for even just 10 minutes was very uncomfortable. He said, “I’m glad I did this, but I won’t be signing up again anytime soon.”

Chief Kary Kinmonth has his vitals checked before getting into a vehicle parked in the sun.

The thermometer is unable to give a clear reading as Kinmouth exits the vehicle after 10 minutes 35 seconds.

Kinmonth’s temperature is still at a high of 103 degrees after recovering for eight minutes in the ambulance.