Does cracking the car windows an inch or two provide safe cooling for children or pets?
No! Opening the car windows an inch or two only results in 2 to 3 degrees of cooling, compared to a car with closed windows. This finding surprised me...but confirms the danger posed by leaving children or pets in cars on a warm day. And I mean warm, not necessarily hot. Research indicates interior temperatures can reach dangerous levels with outside air temperatures in the upper 60's to low 70's and in as little as ten minutes. An eighty degree day can produce temperatures inside a car in excess of 120 degrees! The number of children dying from being trapped inside cars on a warm or hot day has been rising steadily, to 43 in the United States last year. Already, 19 have died this year. Either bring children or pets with you when you leave the car, leave them with someone to supervise them so the windows can be left down or the air conditioning on...or at home.