Some new devices are helping parents remember not to leave babies behind in a hot car.
A 6-month-old baby in Texas died after her dad accidentally left her in a hot car. So far in 2016, 11 children have died this way.
"I don't know what you could possibly be thinking or doing that you would honestly forget your child is in the car,” parent Christie Fagan, of East Hartford, said. “I don't understand it."
About 40 children per year in the United States die from being left in a hot car, but three new devices may help parents remember their children, making sure this doesn’t happen.
The first is called the Soft Clip monitor. The Soft Clip monitor syncs the car seat buckle with a key fob. If the parent walks away from the car without unfastening the buckle, the fob and the buckle will both beep.
The second device called the Sense A Life. It works when a sensor detects a child's weight in the car seat and another sensor goes under the driver's seat. When the driver exits the vehicle, it sends an audible message and a phone app alert to the parent's phone and a designated friend's phone.
There is also the Intel Smart Clip. It works using a Bluetooth sensor that attaches to the car seat and syncs with the parent's cell phone. If the parent moves out of range from the clip it sends an alert on their phone and it also measures temperature.
"Why should we even have to have these devices,” Wethersfield parent Shawn Baker said. “That's more my thing, is like why do we have to rely on devices like that in order to make sure that we're paying attention to our kids."
Sadly devices may be needed because of other devices that keep our society occupied.
“We live in a distracted society with cell phone and emails, the stimulus listening to the radio, whatever you’re doing just causes you and gives you a little bit of distraction and that change, that little bit of distraction, leads to forgetfulness,” Rocky Hill Police Lt. Brian Klett said. “So any bit of help in technology to make things better, why not.”
Of course there are other, more low-tech methods, like leaving your purse or some other item in the back seat so that will force you to turn around and see your baby, but if the new safety devices can help, they might be worth a try, but there is no substitute for careful and conscious caregiving.
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