SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Remember that “Ice Bucket ALS Challenge” that went viral last year? Well now there’s a new one, the “Hot Car Challenge.”
It’s aimed at raising awareness about saving kids from overheating. But some question whether it’s too dangerous, and even effective.
The non-profit Kars4Kids shot the video to promote a free app designed to sync with a bluetooth-enabled car and sound an alert when you leave.
Penny Shaw with SafeKids in Spartanburg says, while the intent is good, nobody should try this type of challenge. It puts adults at risk and, in her opinion, it misses the mark.
“This challenge is not effective, because children heat up faster than adults do. And they’re not going to see what truly happens to children because they’re going to heat up slower,” explains Shaw.
A child’s organs can fail at 104%. They can die at 107.
Caregivers who aren’t part of the daily routine like great grandmother, Joyce Owings can be most at risk of forgetting. So she gets into a life-saving habit, even on her days off.
“I have caught myself to look back to see to make sure there’s nothing there and I feel like that’s OK,” says Owings.
As for the video, Kars4Kids says they shot it to promote this app which alerts parents. We had to ask whether the people were actors.
“Those were actors, but it was unscripted. They really did stay in the car for that amount of time, and now that it has gone viral and we’ve seen the interest in it, we are planning on taking it nationwide and doing real challenges in cities across the country,” said Wendy Kirwan with Kars4Kids.
They say, for the real deal they’ll have emergency staff nearby.
And with an average of 38 children dying each year in hot cars, Owings says challenge or no challenge, people need to take it seriously.