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Old 02-17-2016, 06:14 AM
 
1 posts, read 394 times
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Hi, it has come to my attention that there is a surprising number of incidents of heat stroke caused by leaving children in a hot car. In fact, I found that 16% of all childhood fatalities from 2006-2010 were caused by heat stroke. This statistic alone is shocking, and as a project for a high school engineering class, my partner and I are looking for a solution to lower or possibly eliminate this statistic in the future. All we ask is that you can share your opinions with us so we can get a better idea of how the parenting community feels about the subject. If you have time, please fill out our survey (I will leave a link below) and/or give your opinion in a post below. We thank you for taking the time for reading this, and for helping us create a solution to heat stroke in children.

Survey Link: http://goo.gl/forms/HPYay9HVWn
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
4,950 posts, read 3,138,349 times
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Whenever a child is left in a car and dies from heat stroke, people come out of the woodwork and condemn the grieving parent. "How could you forget your own child in the car?" The answer is, "easily." New parents are sleep-deprived; they are learning new routines; they are often confused; and did I mention sleep deprivation? The brain simply doesn't work right when it has not had enough sleep over a period of time. Add to that the fact that infant seats face the rear, so if the baby has conked off to sleep while you're driving, you don't see them or hear them. And your sleep-deprived brain may well tell you that yes, of course you dropped your baby off at day care; and all the while, as you go about your day on autopilot (because of the whole sleep-deprivation thing), you're convinced that nothing is amiss . . . even while something is terribly, horribly amiss.

As for what to do about it, I would like to see car seats come with an alarm that senses weight, and will start to ring (quietly and gently, like the alarm that sounds when you leave your headlights on) 10 seconds after you remove the keys from the ignition. If the car seat senses that the weight hasn't been removed within 20 seconds of removing the key, it will ring louder. And if the weight hasn't been removed within 30 seconds, the horn will start to honk and the lights will flash. This would call the parent's attention to the fact that something is wrong with the car, and should trigger in their mind the idea that the baby is still in it. As soon as the weight is lifted (i.e. the baby is removed from the car seat), the alarm stops ringing.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:31 AM
 
15,758 posts, read 13,184,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
Whenever a child is left in a car and dies from heat stroke, people come out of the woodwork and condemn the grieving parent. "How could you forget your own child in the car?" The answer is, "easily." New parents are sleep-deprived; they are learning new routines; they are often confused; and did I mention sleep deprivation? The brain simply doesn't work right when it has not had enough sleep over a period of time. Add to that the fact that infant seats face the rear, so if the baby has conked off to sleep while you're driving, you don't see them or hear them. And your sleep-deprived brain may well tell you that yes, of course you dropped your baby off at day care; and all the while, as you go about your day on autopilot (because of the whole sleep-deprivation thing), you're convinced that nothing is amiss . . . even while something is terribly, horribly amiss.

As for what to do about it, I would like to see car seats come with an alarm that senses weight, and will start to ring (quietly and gently, like the alarm that sounds when you leave your headlights on) 10 seconds after you remove the keys from the ignition. If the car seat senses that the weight hasn't been removed within 20 seconds of removing the key, it will ring louder. And if the weight hasn't been removed within 30 seconds, the horn will start to honk and the lights will flash. This would call the parent's attention to the fact that something is wrong with the car, and should trigger in their mind the idea that the baby is still in it. As soon as the weight is lifted (i.e. the baby is removed from the car seat), the alarm stops ringing.
That is a good idea.

It could also be incorporated as a feature in new cars. A weight sensing switch that can be turned on or off, sort of like airbags in the front seat.

In the meantime I do like the two ideas I heard before. For those who have a computer bag, or purse, stow it right in front of the car seat, rather than in the front seat. For those who don,t buy a large stuffed animal and keep it in the car seat to be moved to the front seat when the baby is in the car as a visual reminder right in the field of vision of the driver.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,698 posts, read 2,843,807 times
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[quote=lkb0714;43042381]

In the meantime I do like the two ideas I heard before. For those who have a computer bag, or purse, stow it right in front of the car seat, rather than in the front seat.


This is what I always did when my kids were infants and toddlers. They are now 8 and 5, and sometimes, I still do it out of habit.

Oops, cut and pasted the quote too fast. Sorry.
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:20 PM
 
2,442 posts, read 1,798,826 times
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Good luck with your project.

As others have mentioned, there are a significant number of people who refuse to belive that this could ever happen to them, but even so there are enough who understand that it could that a device would be very saleable.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:52 PM
 
15,296 posts, read 16,849,408 times
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You do know that there are already devices available for this.

Rice engineers design car seat accessory to save children left in dangerously hot cars

Quote:
The alert system is the accessory’s primary means of protection and includes sensors to detect if the car is moving, if the child is still in the seat and if the temperature in the vehicle begins to rise. If the device detects that the car is parked with the child still in its seat, the device’s alert responses will be activated after 30 seconds, beginning with visual and auditory alerts. The visual alert is a flashing row of red LED lights that lines the car seat and the audio alert is an alarm. After five minutes, if the infant has not been removed from the seat, text alerts are sent out. The device can be programmed to send texting alerts to up to 10 people, including emergency responders. - See more at: Rice engineers design car seat accessory to save children left in dangerously hot cars
https://www.babyalert.info/

Of course not all these systems are reliable. Also, relying on technology can give a parent a false sense of security. Low tech systems like leaving a doll or stuffed animal in the seat when baby is not there and leaving it in the front when you buckle the baby in seem more reliable to me. The best one is still leaving your purse, briefcase, laptop in the back seat so you have to get it when you go to get out at work.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:37 AM
 
8,730 posts, read 8,934,157 times
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[quote=lkb0714;43042381
In the meantime I do like the two ideas I heard before. For those who have a computer bag, or purse, stow it right in front of the car seat, rather than in the front seat.[/quote]


That's what I do. I store all my stuff in the back seat, so I always have to check the rear seat before leaving the car.


I don't think I've ever forgotten about a child in the back though, and to be honest, I do not want to rely on an electronic device, because such devices fail. I'd rather make it a personal habit, because I find that once a habit is established, it's hard for me to break it.
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