Kids and Cars
United States of America

Enough children have died from being left in hot cars. Feeling sorry for the family and blaming someone won’t bring the children back either, nor prevent the next child from dying. We need to stop blaming others and start demanding new solutions!

On average 39 children die from being left in a hot car per year. This is increasing with children now riding in the back. It’s easy to believe that this would never happen to you. However, most cases are caused by a caregiver’s forgetfulness not neglect. Children’s internal temperature rise three to five times faster than an adults. Serious injury can occur in just a few minutes. 107F can be lethal to infants. The temperature can rise by 19 within ten minutes.

Cracking the windows or using a window shield shade has little to no effect on maintaining a temperature inside the car that is safe for small children. In 2002 after a co-worker’s infant died in a NASA parking lot (Yeah, this even happens to rocket scientists) the scientist came up with a solution called “Child Presence Senor”. This device registers weight present in the child safety seats. If the keys are moved ten feet away from the car, they will start beeping till the child is removed for their seat. If you think about it, we are already using this technology. If you put a heavy bag in the passenger’s seat, you will notice the air bag and seat belt warning lights will come on.

Kids and Cars have proposed legislation to go into effect that would require all car seats to have a seat belt reminder. This bill also included a reverse reminder for a child-left-behind warning.
Volvo’s “Personal Car Communicator” is advertised to women afraid of a “Boogeyman” being in the backseat. I have that fear also but I think, unfortunately, a child dying is more realistic. The device can detect a heartbeat inside the car and sends a warning to the driver’s key fob. It was developed in 2001.

According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, “a warning device is technically feasible but what I see here is a low incidence.” I believe what they see is unaware consumers that think this problem would never happen to them. If you have ever locked your keys in your car, you could have as easily locked a child in a car. The number of children that died from 2001 to 2010 is 388. They shouldn’t have died. Throwing someone in jail and feeling sorry for the family will not bring one of these kids back nor prevent another child from a similar tragedy. Don’t wait till this hits you on a personal level. Demand better and inform others of these solutions. No child should die or be injured from being left in a vehicle.

“If we leave the headlights on or keys in the ignition, our cars provide a warning buzz. Somehow our society has decided that it’s not okay to have a dead car battery; but it’s okay to have a dead baby. The issue is not the technology; the issue is getting it to market.” Jan Null

We are asking car manufacturers to make technology available to consumers so they can save children from dying needlessly in hot cars.

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The Technology is the Solution to Children Dying in Hot Cars petition to Kids and Cars was written by Cheri Warford and is in the category Cars at GoPetition.