With summer in full swing, many parents may not realize how hot it can really get inside a vehicle. Whether you’re driving to the local grocery store or taking a three-hour long road trip with multiple stops, ensuring your children are safe is critical.
With all the news lately of infants being left in a car by parents on hot days, children dying has been rising at an alarming rate in the country.
This happens not only on scorching hot days but also during mild heat days when your vehicle can turn into an oven. A cool 15C day can cause a car’s temperature to reach a hot 43C in minutes. This has the potential to cause death.
Before you step into your car with your child, learn how to stay safe so that this never happens to you.
What Happens When You Leave Your Child in a Car?
You might be thinking, who leaves their child all by themselves, unattended in a hot car?
Believe it or not, this can easily happen to the typical parent. These parents may be on a long car trip, visiting family or rushing to work – multi-tasking the entire time. With other thoughts on their mind, they forget about their infant or child being left in the car.
When a child is left in the car, the temperature can rise so fast it can overwhelm a child’s ability to regulate their internal temperature.
Your child’s small body can go into a state of shock quickly and circulation to vital organs can stop, causing death.
The core temperature of infants and young children can increase almost three to five times faster than an adult due to extreme heat. So, even leaving a window slightly opened is no help to prevent your car from becoming too hot.
More than 38 children between newborn to three years old die of hot vehicle accidents every year in the U.S. Currently the death toll is 11.
Right now, no statistics have been provided for Canada separately. However, there have been past cases of hot car death in Canada too.
Your child’s safety lies in your hands. Look and check inside before you lock your car door. When keeping your car in the garage or driveway don’t forget to lock the vehicle to prevent small children and even animals from getting trapped.
The Canada Safety Council recommends the strategy of placing your cell phone, wallet or purse in the backseat to force yourself to turn around and check the back seat before leaving your car.
As a mother to twin toddlers, this is something I often do. I place my purse in the backseat so whenever we stop I have to consciously remember where my purse is.
Walmart’s Upcoming Product For Car Owners
Walmart has partnered up with Evenflo to sell a new infant car seat alerting drivers when a baby is left in a car.
Currently, the Evenflo Advanced Embrace with SensorSafe Infant car seat is available online at Walmart for $149.
It’s projected to be in stores by mid-August, although there is not a firm date for the Canadian release.
The new model of Evenflo’s technology will have an alarm which will communicate through a chip in the chest harness of the seat and a receiver attached to the car. This will emit a tone if your child is still in the car when the ignition is turned off, preventing you from forgetting them in the backseat.
There is no other car seat with Evenflo’s alarm system technology on the market today. The infant car seat system includes a receiver plug and a chest clip transmitter. A single receiver plug can be used with multiple chest clips in the same car.
The Car Seat Alarm’s Receiver Plug
The wireless receiver plug won’t interfere with your car’s operation or with other electronic devices. It plugs into your car’s On-board Diagnostics (OBD) port and it can detect whether your car’s ignition is on or off – it also receives power from the ODB port. Don’t worry, though, it won’t drain your car’s battery as it requires the same amount of power as your dashboard clock.
The receiver plug works only with gas or diesel vehicles purchased in 2008 and newer in the US or in Canada.
Sensor Safe Chest Clip
The chest clip has been tested with the Embrace 35 infant car seat under US federal motor vehicle safety standards. The chest clip fits only on Evenflo’s Embrace infant car seats with a maximum weight rating greater than 13.6 kg or 30 lbs.
If at any time your car’s ignition shuts off with the chest clip still fastened – or if a child unbuckles their clip – the SensorSafe system will alert you while driving within 30 seconds.
When not in use and left buckled, the sensor will automatically shut off after 12 hours, saving battery life. It will reset and properly function when in use.
Be Safe This Summer
Don’t leave small children and animals unattended in your car when you run in to buy some milk or fill up your tank with gas. Even if you think it’s only for a few minutes, that’s all it takes for your car to heat up to a dangerous level.
So, this summer stay safe and alert while driving.
Now it’s your turn – as a parent, what safety measures do you follow on a trip when you have small children in your car?