CHEONAN, April 14 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean researchers have developed an airbag jacket that can prevent the sudden death of toddlers under 12 months old.
More than two thirds of sudden deaths among toddlers involve choking while sleeping face down, and airbag jackets are there to prevent such cases.
The Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) announced Monday that the institute, in tandem with a local manufacturer, developed a wearable airbag system that prevents toddlers from choking to death.
The airbag jacket constantly monitors toddler’s movements through six pressure sensors located in the chest, back, and both sides of the jacket.
If a toddler faces down, the pressure sensor in the chest turns on the jacket, and sends an alarm to the parent’s smartphone via Bluetooth.
The airbag, filled with carbon dioxide, does not contain any explosive substances, unlike airbags for automobiles, thereby posing no risk of burns for toddlers. It inflates slowly to ensure minimum impact on the toddler’s chest.
The jacket inflates to 2.5 centimeters thick, which is maintained for more than 20 seconds to ensure that the toddler can breathe.
Eco-friendly textiles were used for the jacket’s lining, and communication modules used in the jacket have been certified for their ability to deflect electromagnetic waves, the research team explained.
The team submitted two patent applications last year in relation to the new product. They plan to complete technology transfer by the end of this year and release the product in the following year.
“The jacket may help not only parents at home, but also newborn units in hospitals and daycare centers,” said Dr. Choi Sung-hwan at KITECH who spearheaded the project.
“The airbag can be used repeatedly as long as the cartridges for carbon dioxide are replaced,” said Choi.
“We plan to minimize the number of cables and connectors inserted in the jacket to maximize convenience and ensure lighter weight.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)