OMG – I’m So Upset!

OMG – I’m so upset!  Last week, two precious babies were left in hot cars and died. This is so heartbreaking. No parent would ever leave his or her baby in a hot car on purpose. Terrible tragedies that will affect their lives forever.

And because we live in such a fast paced world, our brains are going in many different directions at once. Many times, it’s tough to be totally present for one thing at a time because our to-do list is so long. Multi-tasking seems to be the name of the game. And believe me, that’s not an excuse, it’s just our reality. We’re all human with lots to do. This is not a “bad parenting problem,” says Kristy Arbogast, the lead author of a 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on technologies to prevent heat stroke for children in hot cars.

Here is the good news: There are now new products on the market to alert parents and caregivers that their baby is in the car. Car seats with sensors, wireless sensors, sensors that the parent and caregiver wear or put on the car seat. And we are hoping all car manufacturers will start putting sensors in every new car that is being made.

Here are four technologies that you might want to consider:

  1. Sensorsafe from Evenflo –A receiver is installed in your car’s diagnostics port. It communicates with the car seat’s smart chest clip chiming if a child is in the seat when the car is turned off.
  2. Driver’s Little Helper Sensor System – The sensor goes under the car seat padding where the child sits. It’s attached to a battery pack and synced with an app. You set the interval for when you want to receive the notification. If you don’t respond, it will send you a text and email your emergency contacts.
  3. Waze – This is a popular traffic and navigation app with a setting to remind the driver to check his or her back seat when the destination that was entered in the app is reached.
  4. General Motor’s Rear Seat Reminder System – This feature is in some GM cars and uses back door sensors that become activated when the rear door is opened or closed with 10 minutes of the vehicle being started or is running. When you arrive at your destination, a reminder appears on the dash that says; “Rear Seat Reminder, Look in Rear Seat” as well as an audible chime notification.

For more information on these products:

Here are just a few of my own tips to help prevent this tragedy from happening:

  • After your baby is safely in his or her car seat. Take off your left shoe and place it in the backseat area. You can forget your briefcase, but you can’t walk with one shoe and you’ll never accidently forget your child.
  • Before you leave your house, set an alarm in your smart phone to ring when you reach your destination. Most phones let you set more than one alarm if you will be making multiple stops
  • Place the diaper bag on the seat next to you and put your purse in the back seat area.
  • An easy way to remind yourself to do any of the above tips is to write them on a sticky note and place it on your steering wheel until they become habits. Just like putting your seat belt on.