Ultimate guide to child reminder devices for car safety
As parents, we all want to ensure the safety of our children, especially when we're on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 40 children die annually in the United States from heat stroke after being left in a hot car. Effective measures to prevent this include the proposed Hot Cars Act, which mandates an alert system in new passenger cars, buses, and trucks when a child is left unattended in the back seat. These types of child reminder devices are already available on the market.
In line with this technology, Doona introduces SensAlert as part of Doona Lab, a forward-thinking hub for innovation and collaboration to explore new ideas and designs to impact our industry and parents. SensAlert is the only car seat alert solution with three levels of alert to keep your child safe so they're not left unattended in the car. By incorporating technology such as SensAlert with other safety measures, we can take a comprehensive approach to child car safety and strive towards a safer future for our children.
What are child-reminder devices?
Child reminder devices, also known as anti-abandonment devices or car seat reminders, are designed to alert parents and caregivers when a child is left unattended in a car. These devices work by detecting the presence of a child in a car seat and alerting the parent or caregiver if the child is left in the car alone. Using child reminder devices is essential for adding an extra layer of safety to your car seat, as they can help prevent child heat strokes and give parents peace of mind.
Why are child reminder devices essential for car safety?
Leaving a child unattended in a car is a significant safety concern that can quickly lead to heat stroke, dehydration, brain damage and other dangerous outcomes, even if the temperature is not high. To address this issue, Italy passed a law in 2020 requiring anti-abandonment devices when traveling in a car with a child under the age of 4. Since the law's enactment, there have been no reported fatalities due to child vehicular heat stroke in Italy, emphasizing the effectiveness of child reminder devices.
Types of child reminder devices
Child reminder devices can be classified into two categories: connected and non-connected. Connected devices are linked to a smartphone via Bluetooth and offer advanced features such as emergency calls and GPS tracking. Non-connected devices are standalone and usually emit an alarm when the child is detected in the car seat or the seat belt unbuckles. Integrated solutions like rear seat alarms are becoming more common, and some apps offer basic reminders, but they cannot be considered true safety systems. Connected devices are more effective but expensive, while non-connected devices are cheaper but less advanced.
Other types of solutions
Some vehicles are equipped with integrated solutions such as rear seat alarms that use ultrasonic sensors to detect the presence of a human body and movement in parked cars for up to 24 hours. While this approach is currently rare, it is likely to become more common in the coming years. Additionally, there are baby-reminding features in popular apps like Waze that send basic notifications about the possibility of a child being in the car. However, these apps cannot be relied on as true safety systems as they do not provide accurate detection of the child and only offer limited alerts.
Why SensAlert is considered a cutting-edge device
SensAlert is revolutionary in this industry because it has all the basic features of a smartphone-connected device, but it also includes some advanced features that are unique to this type of product. Since its launch in Europe in 2019, nearly one million units of SensAlert have sold, and there have been no reports of it being involved in any incidents that put a child’s safety at risk. Its popularity is a testament to the product's reliability, as well as the growing awareness of the need for child safety in vehicles.
Cloud alert system: One of the most notable features of SensAlert is the cloud alert system that automatically sends messages and calls to the caregiver and emergency contacts. This technology allows seamless communication, regardless of the caregivers' phone signal.
Disabled Bluetooth Warning: SensAlert also includes a Function for Disabled Bluetooth. Unlike other anti-abandonment devices SensAlert emits an intermittent sound if it can't connect to the smartphone because Bluetooth is disabled and the child is onboard. This feature ensures that the user is reminded to turn on Bluetooth to ensure that the device functions properly.
Sharing: SensAlert can also be shared with up to three people, making it convenient for parents or caregivers to use the same device when transporting the child in the car. Each user can select their own emergency contacts within the app.
Automatic low battery alert: The Doona app constantly monitors the battery level of the device and alerts you via email when the battery is about to run out.
SensAlert includes some advanced features that are unique to this device and that make it stand out from other devices on the market. These features ensure that the device functions properly in case of emergency, even if the user's phone is off or out of service, and that the user is reminded to turn on Bluetooth to ensure that the device functions properly.
When it comes down to it, keeping your little one safe is our number one priority at Doona. No matter what type of car you have, our Doona Car Seat & Stroller provides exceptional safety while making every car ride worry-free, from the first trip home to everyday outings. Check out our parenting tips for more tips, insights from industry experts and parents, and more.