Even the most caring, organised and well-meaning parent can be at risk of accidentally leaving their child in the car. In January a Victorian toddler died after being forgotten by his father and left in the back seat of the family car – but a Melbourne businessman has created an app to ensure such tragedy never happens again.
It’s not even summer and this month much of the country has already experienced record-breaking temperatures, when the risk of fatalities increases and temperatures inside a car can quickly reach 60C on a typical 30C day.
Lobby groups are calling for all new cars to be built with baby seat alarms, but it will take many years before these cars would likely appear on the market.
Mark Woodland developed a practical solution that can be easily implemented to save lives. He developed the Xplor app, which has the technology to allow parents to automatically sign their children in and out of daycare by walking past a beacon with their smart phone.
The app instantly alerts the daycare centre of any children that were due to be at the centre that day, but did not arrive.
Mr Woodland, owner of Woodland Education childcare centres, says parents juggling small children with work and other responsibilities “have so many things on their mind that accidents do happen”.
“Even if it’s only a one in a million chance of a baby being left in the car instead of dropped off at childcare, we want to make sure we have a system in place to stop it from happening,” he says.
Mr Woodland spent five years developing the platform. Xplor also has the ability for parents to connect with their children, log in their child’s profile to learn of the day’s activities and pay childcare bills directly through the app.
The app, which launched in July, comes at no cost to the childcare centre and costs parents $2.50 a week. It is already available at 200 centres nationally.
For more great inventions helping save little lives, check out our previous posts on the new baby car seat with inbuilt alerts and the Infant SOS app that sends an emergency text if a child is left in a car.