On average, 37 children die in hot cars in the U.S. every year. As of this writing, ten children have died in 2015 already. There are myriad tricks and tips out there on how to make sure you remember your child is in the back seat — leaving a purse back there, or a stuffed animal in the front seat — but can a car seat help stop hot-car deaths? Walmart and Evenflo believe it can.
For $150, parents can save their loved ones from potential death in a sweltering hot car by purchasing the new Evenflo Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat with SensorSafe technology. The first-of-its-kind car seat emits an alarm to let parents know that there is a child in the car. The SensorSafe technology transmits a signal — via Wi-Fi — from a sensor on the chest clip of the car seat’s harness, to a receiver that is plugged into the car’s data port.
The moment the car starts moving, the wireless link between the car seat’s chest harness and the receiver is established so that when the car’s ignition is turned off, an alarm sounds twice to remind the driver about the baby in the back seat, and thus stops unnecessary hot car deaths before they happen, according to the product description on Walmart’s website.
“The Evenflo Advanced Embrace DLX with SensorSafe showcases the SensorSafe technology where a smart chest clip and wireless receiver auto-sync to communicate with the driver through a series of gentle tones. The gentle chimes remind the driver when the chest clip is unbuckled during transit. Receiver also reminds the driver that baby is still in seat after arrival at destination.”
Jason Tanz, an editor at Wired, made an appearance on the Today Show on Thursday to test the car seat with a real baby. He described the sound made by the cat seat’s alarm as a “jingle,” and noted that it was designed specifically to sound unlike any cell phone tone or car noise, to make it easily distinguishable for exhausted parents.
“It seems impossible that you would forget that your baby is in the car, but you’re exhausted, the seat’s facing the other way, you’re sort of going by muscle memory, and you can forget the baby is in the car. So this is a reminder using Wi-Fi, using a sensor to keep your baby safe.”
The car seat is currently available on the department store’s website, and will soon be available in store. Whether it will help lower the tragic yearly average of hot car deaths, or stop them all together, remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
[Image Credit: Walmart/Evenflo]