Another Child Dies in Hot Car, Could Technology Have Saved Her?

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children die in hot carThere has been a record number of toddler and infant deaths this summer due to being stuck, or left, in a hot car. Some even call these deaths by hyperthermia an epidemic.

Sadly, you can add one more victim to that list as a 3-year-old girl called Hallie was left in the car during church, and was dead when the family came out 90 minutes later.

Hallie was an accident; as there were siblings, cousins, parents, and aunts and uncles involved, and no one was "in charge" of the toddler. Sadly, she was forgotten in the Tampa, Florida, heat. It's a tragedy that's becoming more and more common, and one consumer group has decided to do something about it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants car companies to create a warning chime when children are left in the car, not unlike the seat belt chime we hear when we forget to buckle up. The group is considering petitioning the government to make this a mandatory feature.

While this chime wouldn't help those children who play in hot cars and accidentally get locked in, it would create awareness (again, like the seat belt chime) that children in cars are not safe. Ideally cutting down on those, like Hallie, who were forgotten as well as those children who were left intentionally by parents who didn't seem to understand the dangers.

General Motors is already working on an alert, but is not close to having a method that they feel confident would serve as an effective warning system. An auto supplier and even NASA are also experimenting with technology that can alert you when a car is too hot for a child, or when a child is locked in a car. But none of these systems is expected to be in place for at least a decade.

Until then, vigilance, for the safety of your own children as well as those you see when you're walking through the parking lot, is of utmost importance.

Any parent can have a frazzled day and make a mistake. We just need to make sure it's not a deadly one.

Should these alarms be mandatory for your car?


Image via di_the_huntress/Flickr


safety, toddler health, in the news

42 Comments

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sstepph sstepph

Yes I think so. This is terrible!!! I STILL do not understand how someone can forget a child in a car????

LilAy... LilAydinsMommy

Who the hell "forgets" their child?!?!?  I can see on an especially frazzeled day forgetting for maybe 30 seconds... but seriously, the WHOLE family forgot they had a 3-year-old?  Can you imagine the horror of the last hour and a half of that poor little girl's life?


I'm all for safety features that help protect our kids... but nothing can replace the good old fashioned concept of "being a responsible parent."

Lacey Hann

god...i really hate people. who can forget their child? seriously? what the F is a matter with you?? i never forget my kids..even when i go somewhere alone which is very rare i still think they are in the backseat!

ivy801 ivy801

I feel that forgetting your kid is just an excuse and a stupid one if you ask me. The feature is a great idea but there will always be inresponsible parents.

bibdy... bibdybobdyboob

There is a very new and easy to use invention on the market.  I wish I knew the name of it, just read a newspaper article.  It plugs into your cigarette lighter.  When you get in the car, it asks you if a child is in the back.  You answer yes or no.


When you get where you are going, it chimes to remind you a child is in the back.


The consumer most likely to buy this is a grandparent or day care provider.   Parents are not as likely to buy it because they don't think they will forget their child.


So I think a warning chime would be a great idea.  While we all like to think we won't forget our child, sadly it does happen.

Sweet... SweetPieMama24

How can NOBODY in this entire family realize that a child is not there?!?! SERIOUSLY!?

RanaA... RanaAurora

Yes, I think these should be mandatory.  I think it's a great idea.

kelli... kelli0585

I think it's a great idea, but I'd like for it to go even further.  Instead of a "chime," I would like for there to be sensors that detect a living being and for a car alarm to go off after 30 seconds of activity in a non-running vehicle. 

nonmember avatar Amie

Unfortunately I can possibly see how this happened... My niece when she was 4 slipped away from us at an amusement park. We'd had a family get together/picnic there.. We were in the picnic area of the park. It was both parents, both sets of grandparents, myself and my husband the other Aunt and Uncle and their children.. One of the grandparents went to the restroom now we're all in the middle of eating, talking like you would do..
At one point we did realize she was not with us, and someone asked more than one of us thought she'd went with the grandmother, upon her return we realized she hadn't. Of course we were in panic mode and there she was about 10ft away from us sitting at another families table..I imagine they were saying what a bunch of idiots, and I get sick over what could have happened in that situation.. There's been many times with my own kids at get togethers and church functions that we've thought they were with one family member when indeed they were not... So in a case where there's multiple people caring and looking out for a child there's more a a chance that something like this could happen. (Everyone thinking the child with someone else)...

lovem... lovemybaby283

I'm with everyone here. How in the world can you 'forget' your kid!!

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