Car seat safety standards may contribute to kids forgotten in hot cars.
It seems every summer we hear shocking stories of children left to die in hot cars. In most cases, it’s a heart wrenching accident that leaves many parents thinking one of two things: “I would never do that!” or “Could I do that?”
Well, experts say you should be thinking the latter.
Check out this ConsumerWatch report where Julie Watts demonstrates why it’s so common. Watching this video could save your child’s life.
Jan Null of the Golden Gate weather service is one of the foremost experts on child heat stroke deaths. He’s complied extensive data on child heat stroke deaths in cars and has analyzed more than 600 since 1998.
He says that year marked the turning point when heat stroke deaths began to skyrocket, as airbags were introduced and children were moved into the back seat for safety.
“Suddenly,” he says, “they weren’t visible any more.”
The recent recommendation that car seats stay rear-facing until the child is 2 years old has compounded the issue.
As a result, there are now various apps that promise to alert you if you leave your child in the car. Safety advocates are also calling on car makers to develop car seat sensors, similar to head light sensors, that would come standard in all new cars. They argue: What’s more important? A dead battery or dead child?
However, there’s no need to spend money or wait for new technology. Consider simply leaving your wallet, key fob, and your phone next to the car seat whenever you get in the car.
It may sound silly to parents who could never imagine forgetting their child, but 600+ other parents thought the same thing—and made a fatal mistake.
Something else to note: One-third of all children found dead in cars crawled in on their own. Null stresses, “If a child is missing, check the pool first and every car in the neighborhood next.”
The debate over the increasing number of states that are “requiring” kids stay in rear-facing car seats until they are 2 or as large as 40 lbs or 40 in.