You can bake chocolate chip cookies in your oven.
St. Joseph’s Hospital cooked them in a car Thursday to demonstrate how quickly a vehicle heats up, endangering children.
"It's a good visual for families,” said Jaime Verberne, of St. Joseph’s Hospital Safe Kids Greater Tampa.
It’s a visual parents like Joyce incarnation won’t soon forget.
"I preheat my oven to almost just a little bit over that, so I can't imagine what a little kid would be like,” she said.
"A child's body heats three to five times faster than an adult's body so when a child is in a car and a family walks away, the car starts to heat up dramatically,” Verberne said.
Verberne said at 104 degrees a child’s organs fail and at 107 degrees the child can die.
After just a few minutes in an SUV used in the demonstration, the temperature climbed much, much higher than that.
Just to give you an idea, the temperature inside the car was 155 degrees and the cookie sheet is so hot you couldn’t even pick it up with your hands. You had to use an oven mitt. The cookies were just mush.
Verberne said more than half of kids left unattended in hot cars are left behind by accident.
So parents need a plan.
"Whether you have your child or not, get into the habit of checking your back seat. Number two, if there's a change where another family member or caregiver is taking your child to a doctor's appointment, or to daycare, have them create reminders,” she said.
"You shouldn't leave your child in the car, not even for a minute. It's just not worth it,” said Verberne.