New & Existing Technology Can Prevent Child Hot Car Deaths (Plus Other Cost-Effective Options)

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Statistics: How Safe Is A Hot Car?

On average, around 40 children die each year after being left in a hot car, with 53% of the incidents attributed to someone forgetting about the child in the vehicle. (1)(2)

A hot car is never safe for a child, with as many as 950+ child hot car deaths recorded since 1998. (1)(2)

Considering these alarming statistics, how can you keep your children safe? Are vehicle manufacturers doing something to prevent these accidents from happening? What car makers are taking action?

Keep reading to learn more.

These are the number of reported deaths per year since 1998. (source:



The highest death tolls were recorded in 2018 and 2019, with 53 deaths reported for these two consecutive years. (2)

Thankfully, the numbers have been below the average since then. 

Although the current numbers (17 deaths as of August 2023) are the lowest since 1998, we should keep in mind that there are still a few months before the year ends. The total figure for 2023 will likely be higher.

Other alarming stats to take note of: (1)

  • As many as 54% of these hot car deaths are children younger than two years old
  • Of the 53% deaths attributed to a forgotten child, approximately 46% involved children who were meant to be dropped off at a preschool or daycare
  • The end of the workweek, or during Thursdays and Fridays, had the highest number of recorded deaths


These stats show that a moment of forgetfulness by a possibly sleep-deprived, tired, or distracted parent can lead to devastating, irreversible consequences.


What Happens To A Child’s Body In A Hot Car?

Heatstroke can start when a person’s core body temperature goes up to as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Normal body temperature is usually at around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. (3)(4)

When left untreated, especially when a child remains in a hot car, heatstroke can quickly damage the brain, kidneys, heart, and muscles. The longer they remain inside the vehicle, the higher the risks of serious complications, including death. (4)

Heatstroke can lead to the following symptoms: (4)

  • Skin that feels hot or dry to the touch
  • Flushed, red skin
  • Rapid heart rate because the heart is under heavy strain to try and help cool the body down
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Throbbing headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Altered mental state, including confusion, delirium, slurred speech, agitation, or irritability
  • Seizures
  • Coma


Even more alarming is that a child’s body temperature can rise about three to five times faster than ours. When left in a vehicle with the air conditioning off, their body temperature can rise quickly, posing increased risks of heat stroke and death. (3)

A child can die with a body temperature of about 107 degrees Fahrenheit. (3)


Preventing Child Hot Car Deaths

What Technology Is Used To Detect Children Left In The Car?

Many vehicle makers  like Volvo and Toyota are trying to create technology to detect when children are left in the car. (5)(6)(7)

These technological advances include rear seat reminders, which trigger an alarm for the driver to check the backseat.


Toyota’s New Technology



Toyota developed a “Cabin Awareness” technology that uses millimeter-wave radar to detect whether there are people (or even pets) inside the vehicle’s cabin. (5)

The system will use 4D imaging radar sensors mounted above a vehicle’s headliner/ceiling (out of sight but works without being seen). (5)

This Cabin Awareness system concept is designed to detect micro-movements, including breathing and heartbeat, within the vehicle. (5)

This technology is ideal because the radar can detect an occupant hidden or covered by a blanket (which makes it harder for a passerby to see if a child is accidentally left behind). (5)

The occupants can also be classified based on their size, position, and posture, and can prevent false alerts. (5)

However, this system is currently still a patent-pending concept. (5)


Volvo’s New Technology


Volvo also has similar technology.

The Volvo EX90 all-electric SUV features integrated sensors in the vehicle’s overhead console, trunk, and roof-mounted reading lamps to detect “sub-millimeter movement” within the car’s entire interior. (6)

Volvo claims to have the world’s first interior radar system to help ensure that “no one is left behind” to reduce the risks of hot car deaths. (6)

The interior radar system gets activated whenever you lock the car. When it detects an occupant inside the vehicle, the system keeps the car from getting locked, and the center console screen will display a reminder for you to check. (6)

Volvo claims that the vehicle’s climate system will continue to work to keep the cabin within a safe temperature range (as long as the car’s high-voltage battery has adequate power). (6)

This technology is already being used for the Volvo EX90 all-electric SUVs. However, the vehicle is currently sold out, but Volvo is expected to release the 2024 model soon. (7)


Continental’s New Technology


Continental has also developed a similar technology that senses children left behind inside their vehicles. The system is designed to trigger a distinct warning when a child is detected. (8)

According to Continental’s press statement, the Child-Presence Detection technology is designed to check for micro-body movements and unique respiration rates, which can classify the passenger as an infant, child, or adult. (8)

Continental claims the technology is also advanced enough to detect infants and children in any position, even when hidden in the cabin footwell or covered by a blanket. (8)

When a child or infant is detected, the vehicle’s Child-Presence Detection system will trigger alerts (visual, audible, and/or haptic such as vibration) in as fast as 10 seconds. (8)

The carmaker added that this potentially life-saving system is designed to work with CoSmA (Continental’s digital access technology) without additional hardware. (8)


Other Vehicles With Rear Seat Occupant Reminders

These vehicles (newer models/versions) are designed to trigger a rear seat occupant reminder if the rear door was opened shortly before the engine is turned on but remains unopened when the engine is turned off: (9)(10)

  • Buick Encore
  • Buick Encore GX
  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Ford Bronco
  • Ford Escape
  • Honda Accord
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Toyota Camry


What Devices Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths?

Other backseat baby reminders and devices you can use:

Ride N Remind Car Alarm – Back Seat Reminder System WALMART BUTTONAMAZON BUTTONEBAY BUTTON


Baby-in-Car Reminder & Hot Car Death Prevention Notice / AlarmAMAZON BUTTONETSY BUTTONEBAY BUTTON


Backseat Baby – Reminder StickersAMAZON BUTTONEBAY BUTTON




KID !N CAR – Neon Slap Band Baby-in-Car ReminderAMAZON BUTTON

















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