The danger of hot cars

Warm summer days does not only entail benefits, but also risks. Every year state agencies[1] and organisations[2] inform about the danger of leaving children unattended in hot cars. Despite the warnings, incidents occur where children die from heatstroke and hyperthermia because they have been left unattended in locked cars. Luckily this risk can be prevented. Through our latest innovation “Axkid Connect” we have developed a safety pad that alerts when the car temperature is increasing and if a child is left alone in the car. Axkid Connect thereby works as an extra safety precaution for your child and a smart tool for you as a parent.

A problem already at 22 degrees

Most of us know that it can be very warm inside a parked car and that it can be dangerous to leave children alone in a locked car. However, many of us are not aware about the fact that a child can suffer from heatstroke during days when the outside temperature only rises to 22 degrees, since the car can reach temperatures as high as 47 degrees.[3] There are cases where parents underestimate the risks, and leave their child unattended in the car. The majority of the incidents however occur when parents or caregivers unknowingly leave the child in the car. [4] Some of the most common reasons for unintentionally leaving a child behind in a car are changes in routine, miscommunication and lack of sleep.[5] In other words, it is something that can happen to anyone.

Dangerous temperatures in 15 minutes

There are many different factors having an impact on the car temperature such as outdoor temperature, humidity and weather. As we all know the weather and outdoor temperature may shift significantly during a summer day, and the car can quickly become incredibly hot. The roof of the car becomes warm straight through and heats up the air inside the car. The sun also heats up the dashboard and the seats through the windshield and the side windows. There is no air exchange in a parked car and most of the heat remains inside the car. Consequently, the inside temperature increases quickly and becomes much higher than the outdoor temperature.[6] The temperature chart below is an example of how the heat development in a car may look like during a summer’s day.[7]

Studies show that the car temperature can rise by as much as 10 to 15 degrees in only 15 minutes. The temperature increases most during the first 30 minutes. Leaving a window slightly open does not significantly slow down the heating process or contribute to reducing the maximum temperature attained.[8]

Infants and small children are more prone to hyperthermia than adults because a child’s body temperature rises faster than an adult’s.[9] Small children are particularly vulnerable in overheated cars since they cannot always communicate and are unable to open car doors and windows. Leaving a child in a car can have devastating consequences, even if it is for a few minutes.

Italy introduces legal requirement

Unfortunately, forgotten children in hot cars is a problem that is not only persisting but also increasing in some parts of the world.[10] Due to several incidents, Italy recently adopted a new law designed to prevent hot car deaths. The law requires vehicles to have a safety device that alerts drivers if a child has been left behind in the rear seat or a car seat.[11] It is likely that similar requirements may be adopted in other countries in the future.

The Safety Pad Axkid Connect prevent risks

Axkid Connect is a safety pad developed and designed to minimize those risks and save lives. The safety pad is easily connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. When something might be unsafe, a notification is sent to your smartphone. With its highly sensitive (integrated) sensors, the safety pad helps you as a parent to be close to your child throughout the trip and reminds you when your child has been seated in the car seat for too long. Most importantly, Axkid Connect reduces the risks of overheating as it alerts when the car temperature is too high and needs to be adjusted. In addition, the safety pad sends a notification to your smartphone if you leave the car and the child is still seated in the car seat. By using Axkid Connect you minimize the risk of human errors and ensure the health and well-being of your child.

Axkid is constantly working towards enhancing children’s right to security on the roads and continues to focus on innovation. Through our new product Axkid Connect we offer smart technology that ensures the safety of your child beyond a road impact.

As a rule, never leave your child in the car during the summer months, and remind others about the dangers of hot cars.

Read more about how to keep your child cool during the trip.

Greetings from The Axkid family 

[1]

https://polisen.se/lagar-och-regler/trafik-och-fordon/barn-och-djur-i-varm-bil/ 

[2]

https://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/injury-topics/heatstroke-cars; and https://www.kidsandcars.org/2020/06/30/protecting-children-preventing-deaths-from-hot-cars/ 

[3]

Booth J, et al. Hyperthermia deaths among children in parked vehicles: an analysis of 231 fatalities in the United States, 1999 – 2007. Foren– sic Sci Med Pathol 2010; 6:99; 105.

[4]

https://www.childsafetyeurope.org/publications/info/factsheets/children-in-cars.pdf

[5]

https://www.kidsandcars.org/2020/06/30/protecting-children-preventing-deaths-from-hot-cars/

[6]

https://fof.se/artikel/varfor-blir-det-sa-varmt-i-bilen

[7]

Compilation of measurement results made by Svenska Kennelklubben, see https://www.skk.se/sv/uppfodning/tips-rad/transport/Sa-varmt-blir-det-i-bilen/ 

[8]

McLaren C, Null J, Quinn J. Heat Stress from Enclosed Vehicles: Moderate Ambient Temperatures Cause Significant Temperature Rise in Enclosed VehiclesPediat– rics 2005

[9]

Null J. Hyperthermia Deaths of Chil– dren in Vehicles. Department of GeoSciences. San Francisco State University. 2010. 

[10]

See e.g. study done in the United States: Mark R. Zonfrillo, Mackenzie L. Ramsay, Janette E. Fennell & Amber Andreasen(2018)Unintentional non-traffic injury and fatal events: Threats to children in and around vehicles,Traffic Injury Prevention,19:2,184-188,DOI:10.1080/15389588.2017.1369053; also reported from organizations such as Kids and Cars; https://www.kidsandcars.org/2020/06/30/protecting-children-preventing-deaths-from-hot-cars/.

[11]

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/09/europe/italy-mandatory-car-seat-alarms-intl/index.html ; see also http://www.governo.it/media/campagna-anti-abbandono-involontario-auto-dei-bambini/9860