Walmart and Evenflo have teamed up and manufactured a car seat that alerting drivers that a child is in the backseat. The new car seat is based on the idea that newer car models alert drivers and passengers if a seat belt hasn’t been connected. For these car seats, a sensor on the infant seat harness will trigger a series of tones, if the child is still buckled in when the ignition is turned off.
This is technology at its most important. Since 1998, 707 children have died as a result of being left in a hot car. In 2016, 39 children died. Seven children have died this year. One includes a 9-month-old baby that died of heat stroke when the temperature outside was only 66 degrees.
New car seat prevents children being left in vehicles
The $150 cost of the Evenflo Advanced Embrace with SensorSafe infant car seat is comparable to other popular infant car seats on the market. It has a wireless receiver that plugs into a car’s on-board diagnostic port and syncs with the chest clip that goes around the baby. According to both companies, it does not require the use of Bluetooth, cellular or other devices.
How hot cars can kill your child or pet
The inside of a car heats up much more quickly than the outside. If you think you can safely run into the store for two minutes, you can’t. On a pleasant 75-degree day, the inside of your car can heat up to 90 degrees in just two minutes. Within 20 minutes, the inside temperature can rise to 104 degrees. After an hour, it can hit 120 degrees.
New car seat safety technology
According to a CNN.com report, “As early as last year, David Friedman, the acting administrator of the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, warned that the technology to protect children and adults from heatstroke ‘just doesn’t seem to be there yet.’ Janette E. Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, said she has a list of hundreds of products invented by well-meaning people to prevent children from dying in a hot car, and the new Evenflo car seat is the most promising development so far. Her organization has been pushing for driver reminder systems to reduce deaths.”
Walmart’s director of corporate communications Sara McKinney explained that when they were researching what sound the sensor should make, they wanted to be sure it wasn’t too similar to any other car sounds, including seat belt alerts or smart phone ring tones.
“It’s the first and only crash-tested car seat that has this type of technology embedded,” McKinney 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.
‘This is the first time where I can say with a great deal of confidence that there is something that works, and you’ve got some big companies behind it, and it will save lives,’ Fennell said.”
The car seat is now available on Walmart.com will be available only at Walmart stores beginning in mid-August. After one year, other stores will carry the car seat.
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Attribution: US Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Tony R. Tolley [Public domain]