Photo (cc) by Joe Shlabotnik
As a parent, I can imagine few things worse than running an errand or going to work and forgetting that your young child is strapped into a car seat in the back seat, only to return to your car later to find them dead.
It’s a tragedy that occurs all too often. In fact, a child dies every nine days from being left in a car. Just last week, a 2-year-old died after he was left in a hot car in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
A new “smart” car seat hopes to prevent children from accidentally being left in a hot car.
The Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace infant seat comes equipped with a smart chest clip that automatically syncs to a wireless receiver that is plugged into a car’s onboard diagnostic port. If the chest clip is still buckled after the vehicle is turned off, or if it comes unbuckled during transit, it will generate a series of tones to alert the driver. The smart car seat doesn’t require Bluetooth, cellular or any other device.
This is similar to the reminder alerts that sound in most newer cars when a driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt or if a car’s headlights are left on, CNN said. But the car seat’s sounds are unique, so they can be easily differentiated from other car alerts or popular smart phone ring tones.
The car seat sells exclusively through Wal-Mart for $149.88. It is online now and will be available in stores in mid-August, according to CNN.
“It’s the first and only crash-tested car seat that has this type of technology embedded,” Sarah McKinney, Wal-Mart’s director of corporate communications, said. “Right now (on the market) it’s more attachments or accessories or mobile apps, but there’s not one that’s an actual car seat that has this technology.”
Check out KidsAndCars.org for more information about hot-car-related child deaths and how to prevent them.
Have you ever accidentally left your child in a hot car? What do you think about Evenflo’s new car seat? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.