We’ve seen all kinds of complex devices designed to prevent babies and children being left in hot cars, but this one – created by a couple of US dads – is genius in its life-saving, neat efficiency. We think it’s the very best of the bunch.
This device is the future of child car safety
Posted by NowThis Future on Thursday, 23 June 2016
Every year in Australia, over 5,000 children are rescued after being left unattended in a car – Kidsafe
Enough is enough
When a Florida child died after being accidentally left in a car on a hot day, neighbouring dads Fadi Shamma and Jim Friedman were compelled to do something to prevent further senseless deaths.
Jim, an electrical engineer, and Fadi, a pharmacist had been chatting about the tragedy, and others like it, as they watched their kids play together.
They determined that they’d tackle this problem head on, going on to invent a fantastic device that they’re lobbying to have onboard all vehicles (in the US, at least).
Gosh we hope they succeed!
The Sense a Life
Their excellent invention – called the Sense a Life – is available on preorder at Fadi and Jim’s site.
This is how it works:
The Sense a Life comprises two sensor parts – one part goes beside the child as they sit in their car seat, the other part sits under the driver’s seat. These sensors work in conjunction with the Sense A Life smartphone app.
- When the driver opens the car door, an audio reminder reminds them to remove their child from the back seat.
- If the child isn’t removed from their seat, an alert is sent to the driver’s phone.
- If the child still remains in their seat, an alert is sent to the driver’s chosen emergency contact.
The dads are keen to ensure their life-saving product is as accessible and affordable as possible.
“We want it to be in every car. We don’t want it to be a financial burden,” Shamma told The Tampa Bay Times, explaining that the device retails for under $100US.
Forgotten Baby Syndrome
While it’s tempting to judge parents who forget their children are in the car, and leave them unattended, it’s the kind of potentially fatal lapse that can happen to anyone.
Dubbed “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” experts say our brains are actually wired to allow for these kinds of terrible accidents – especially when routines and regular habits are involved.
David Diamond, a professor of psychology, molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, told ABC News the research tells us differing systems in the brain work to override each other, resulting in these kinds of tragic incidents.
“It’s where the parent completely loses awareness that the child is in the car.”
It’s our brain habit system. It allows you to do things without thinking about it. That plan we have to stop a habit seems to get suppressed. We lose awareness of our plan to interrupt that habit. These different brain systems actually compete against each other,” Professor Diamond said.
It’s so encouraging that clever cookies are working on products like this, to help parents safeguard against these terrible, avoidable accidents. Hopefully they will be standard in all vehicles, in the very near future.