Hard though it may be for most of us to believe, it is possible for parents to forget that they’re driving with a baby in the car. If they subsequently leave the infant locked in a very hot or cold parked vehicle for several hours, the results can be deadly. That’s why Baby Alert International is offering the ChildMinder Infant-Toddler Elite Pad System – it’s a setup that notifies absent-minded parents if they try walking away from their car, sans baby.
First of all, you may be asking, “Does this really happen?”. The answer is yes ... occasionally.
According to the group Kids and Cars, approximately 36 infants and young children die every year in the U.S. alone, due to being locked in hot cars. While many of those are no doubt cases of negligence, sometimes parents do actually forget that they have a wee one quietly napping in the back seat – this is particularly likely when there’s a change in routine, and a parent who doesn’t ordinarily drive with the baby in the car ends up doing so. They get preoccupied, end up driving to work (or wherever) as usual, and the little passenger is forgotten.
The ChildMinder system is designed to keep that from happening. It consists of a pressure-sensitive pad, a base control unit for that pad, and a wireless key ring alarm unit.
The pad is placed beneath the cushion in the child safety seat, and is activated as soon as the weight of the infant is placed upon it – assuming they weigh at least four pounds (1.8 kg). From that point on, as long as the pressure is maintained, the key ring alarm will sound within six seconds if the driver moves more than 15 feet (4.6 meters) away from the pad. The system automatically deactivates itself when the child is removed from the seat.
Two AAA batteries are required for the pad, with an additional lithium button cell powering the alarm. The system sells for US$69.95.