10/23/2014

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Consumer Reports: Hot car danger and products that try to help

Consumer Reports: Hot car danger and products that try to help

CONSUMER REPORTS -- 44 children died last year from heat stroke inside cars. Accidentally leaving a child behind in a hot car has happened to parents from all walks of life—a CEO of a hospital, a vice principal, a preacher and so many others. Fatigue, anxiety or distractions can throw anyone’s life off course.

On an 80-degree day, Consumer Reports engineers found even with the windows partially open, the temperature jumped to 110 degrees in just eight minutes. And, be aware that children are especially vulnerable to heat stroke because their body temperature rises three to five times faster than adults. Just leaving children in a car for a few moments is very dangerous.

Consumer Reports evaluated a car seat, the I-Alert, that’s supposed to sense a child’s weight and alert you once you turn off the car. But these technologies are not quite there. They are somewhat inconsistent, unreliable and the car seat isn’t manufactured anymore.

Mobile apps like Baby Reminder and Infant Reminder are also supposed to alert parents. But Consumer Reports says ideally technology should be integrated into the car seat or car. There are bells that remind us that we are low on gas, that we didn't buckle our seat belts and why not one to remind us that we left our child in the car?

For now, Consumer Reports recommends keep something you need like your cell phone in the back seat to remind you to check for your child.

KidsandCars.org has a petition you can sign until August 13 to help prevent child deaths in hot vehicles.

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