With elevated temperatures seen in countries going through the Northern Hemisphere summer, Ford has released this video depicting what could happen if small children of pets are inadvertently left in vehicles, which when left under direct sunlight, have their interiors heated up at accelerated rates compared to ambient temperature. This concern is especially relevant in the year-round heat of Malaysia.
In this video, Ford simulated hot-weather conditions in its Weather Factory in Cologne, Germany where a Ford Focus Active was used to house an ice sculpture representing a child secured in a car seat within the station wagon.
With the controlled temperature at the Weather Factory set to 35 degrees Celsius, the interior of the Focus Active where the ice sculpture is situated rises to 50 degrees Celsius in less than 20 minutes – a short period of time. This highlights the potential dangers of a vehicle cabin that becomes too hot, and therefore too dangerous for any occupant, child or household pet.
The dangers of being trapped in a sun-baked vehicle have been documented before, and as a video uploaded in 2015 by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has shown, a professional athlete such as NFL player Tyrann Mathieu could last just eight minutes in a car under direct sunlight before having to escape.
A child, being physically much less substantial, will surely be worse off, which unfortunately has seen more than one child succumb to the heat in Malaysia.
Fifteen minutes in a heated car interior could cause life-threatening brain or kidney injuries, and when the child’s body temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius, internal organs shut down, and at 41.6 degrees Celsius, death could occur. While alert systems to prevent these occurrences do exist, it remains the driver’s responsibility to ensure the safety of dependents, such as children in the car.
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