CNN recently reported that the federal government has ruled that devices intended to prevent children from dying of heat stroke in parked cars are unreliable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not want these devices to lull parents and caregivers into a false sense of security. While these devices can be used as an additional reminder to parents, they should not be exclusively relied on.
A study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that position of child in the restraint and presence of liquids or cell phones can interfere with the device’s function. Before these devices can really be relied on, the manufacturers need to take another look at the technology and work out the kinks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers alternative safe measures so that parents and caregivers will not absentmindedly leave children in parked vehicles. They can place a stuffed animal or note on the front seat to remind them that a child is in the car. Also, brief cases, cell phones, and purses can be placed in the back seat so that the driver remembers to look in the back of the car and check for the child. If a child is supposed to be at daycare and does not show up as expected, they recommend that the caregiver calls the parent to double check the child’s whereabouts.