GERMANTOWN, Md. - One child's death from being left alone in a vehicle is one too many, said Jacob Wycoff, 27, a meteorologist and Lisbon native.
Wycoff made a video on YouTube called "How Hot Does It Get in a Parked Car" that had clips of it featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and ABC World News with Diane Sawyer over the last few days.
"Every year there are around 40 kids who die from being left unattended in a car," Wycoff said. "It's a preventable death and I wanted to put awareness out there of what can happen in a parked car."
Jacob Wycoff sits in his car to show the effects of heat on the human body in his YouTube video “How Hot Does It Get in a Parked Car.” Sweating profusely and having difficulty breathing, he monitors the effects for a half-hour where the temperature rapidly rises from 92 to near 125 degrees.
The video shows Wycoff in his car monitoring his body changes and temperature inside the car for 30 minutes.
The temperature outside was 88, and by the end of the video, his heart rate increased to 140, the temperature inside the car was almost 125 degrees, sweat was pouring off of him, and he was having difficulty breathing. He said he was having all the signs of the beginnings of heat stroke.
In just 10 minutes the car temperature rose from 92 to 105 degrees.
"Because of the rapid increase in temperature, it causes [children] to have heat stokes," Wycoff said in the video.
He said we are so "plugged in" to social media and our cell phones that it makes us unaware of many things, but he can't imagine forgetting a kid in a car.
Wycoff has worked for the company Weatherbug for four and a half years and the video was posted on the company's blog, which is where the national news outlets most likely saw it and asked permission to use it, he said.
The more people who want to see it and use it, the more awareness it will bring, which is what he wanted, he said.
Wycoff said there was a child death from being left in a car in Alabama Wednesday.
"Maybe if we put out the video one day sooner, we could have prevented it," he said. "These are all preventable deaths."
He said it's summer and hot, so keep that in mind when driving with pets or children he said.
"Keep the phrase 'beat the heat, check the back seat' in mind," he said.
If the video can bring awareness and save even one child, it was worth all the sweat he had, he said.
Wycoff graduated from Lisbon David Anderson in 2004 and went to Western Connecticut University for meteorology.
He said the movie "Twister" got him into meteorology and the local weather stations also peaked his interest so he dug into it at a young age.
Wycoff also makes other videos about weather phenomena such as lightning to bring safety awareness.