WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) --Officials with Wake County Human Services demonstrated Thursday the deadly consequences of leaving a child or pet in a hot car.
Already this year, an infant died in North Carolina after accidentally being left in a hot car all day. Read more here.
Melting s'mores is usually done around a campfire, but Wake health officials used the popular treat to show just how hot the inside of a car can get in a matter of minutes.
The s'mores baked inside the hot car in minutes, showing the real danger of leaving a child or pet inside a car under the blazing sun. Even if the windows are open, it doesn't take long to feel the effects of the oppressive heat.
Health educators say 80 degree temperatures can make the inside of a vehicle feel 30-40 degrees warmer.
"The main trend we are seeing is people are forgetting the child is in that vehicle," said Suzanne LeDoyen, a public health educator with Wake County Human Services.
Officials hope the s'mores demonstration shocked parents and guardians about the threat this summer.
"We know that children are the most vulnerable in vehicles because their bodies heat up three to five times faster," LeDoyen explained.
LeDoyen says more than half of heatstroke deaths occur when a parent or caregiver is distracted and forgets a quiet child is in the vehicle.
If you ever see a child inside of a vehicle, call 911 immediately. Simple things parents and caregivers can do to remember that you may have a child in the back seat would be to leave your phone or your back pack in the back seat, or take one of your shoes off and leave it in the back seat with the child.