Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Online Only

August 1, 2012

Forgotten-baby devices don't always work

Parents should not count on three types of electronic devices designed to alert them when they've forgotten a baby strapped in a car seat, federal officials said Monday.

  The performance of the devices - one that relies on a chest buckle sensor and two that use seat pads - is too inconsistent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

  "These sense the presence of a child; they just don't do it reliably enough," said Kristy Arbogast, a researcher at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who tested the devices for the federal agency.

 "While these devices are very well intended and we do appreciate the manufacturers and inventors, we have found a number of limitations in these devices," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said. "We don't think they can be used as the only countermeasure to make sure that you don't forget your child behind in a car."

  The three devices are the Suddenly Safe Pressure Pad, the ChildMinder Smart Clip System and the ChildMinder Smart Pad. There was no immediate response from the three manufacturers.

   The NHTSA report said that, in some cases, spilled liquids caused malfunctions, cellphone use interfered with device signals, devices turned off and on during travel and an improperly positioned child caused seat pads to malfunction.

   "In sum, the devices require considerable effort from the parent/caregiver to ensure smooth operation," the report said.

   Arbogast said, however, that the designs of the three devices are conceptually sound.

   "Speaking with the manufacturers of these technologies, we know that many refinements already are underway," she said.

  The report did not evaluate electronic devices that have come on the market since the study began. Nor did it test the effectiveness of non-electronic reminders such as wrist bands and similar items.

 Release of the report was timed to coincide with the hottest time of the year in a bid to draw attention to the deaths of infants and toddlers left behind in cars, where temperatures can soar past 130 degrees.

 NHTSA said heatstroke is the leading cause of vehicle-related deaths not involving crashes for children under 14. There were 33 child deaths due to hyperthermia in vehicles last year, and at least 49 deaths in 2010. They have been 527 heatstroke-related child fatalities reported since 1998.

  Strickland said there was no evidence that tied distraction from the use of a mobile device to cases in which a child was forgotten in a car.

1
Text Only
Online Only
  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.40.34 PM.png VIDEO: Would-be carjacker stymied by stick shift

    A man ordered a mother and her son out of their SUV at gunpoint in an Omaha neighborhood, but was forced to flee on foot, police said, because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_zuckerberg.jpg The logic of Facebook's multibillion-dollar shopping spree

    Yet again, Facebook has spent a gaudy sum of money to buy a hot startup. This time, it's virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR, at a purchase price of $2 billion. And don't be surprised if Mark Zuckerberg continues on his buying spree.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newborn.JPG Census: U.S. has fewest births since 1998

    The U.S. recorded the most deaths in its history and the fewest births since 1998, resulting in the lowest population gain from natural causes in 35 years, an analysis of 2013 Census Bureau estimates released Thursday shows.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_mudslide.jpg Mudslide region deals with 'mind-numbing' disaster

    As hundreds of workers spent a fifth day digging through debris and wreckage, the death toll increased to 16 and was expected to keep rising; worse, no survivors have been found since Saturday, the day the landslide hit.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sleeping-woman2.jpg 8 million people take prescription sleep aids, but these drugs have risks

    About 8 million adults turn to prescription sleeping pills for help every month, according to a study published last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And yet, one specialist warns, these medications all have flaws.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read