A client of mine is selling a product I think more parents and caregivers need to know about. Driver’s Little Helper is on a mission to save children’s lives. Below is an article I wrote for their promotion and I’m re-posting to my blog feed.
Blog Updated Aug, 2018 – So far this year, 21 children have died from hot car death. An increase of nearly 300 percent over the same time last year. Go here to see Heatstroke Deaths by Year.
A child is left in a hot car and found dead of heat stroke. A child is unrestrained and gets killed in a car accident. A fatal mistake by an otherwise loving parent getting distracted, upset, or confused by a change in the daily routine. Every day a child dies in a car. The developers of a new high tech child car seat monitor, Driver’s Little Helper, are on a mission to stop these accidents from happening.
On average over 37 children die of vehicular heatstroke each year. In 2012, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made an attempt to reduce the number of hot car deaths by launching a public education campaign urging caregivers to think “Where’s baby? Look before you lock.”
Who is more likely to leave a child behind in a car? Just about anyone can. According to the Dept. of Meteorology and Climate Science, between 1998 and 2014 of the 636 infants and children who died, 34% were forgotten by fathers, 29% by mothers, 10% by both parents, 4% by Grandmothers and 5% by female and male caregivers.
Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post wrote a compelling article on this topic, Fatal Distractions, and he reports “The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate. In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.”
“Memory is a machine, and it is not flawless.
Our conscious mind prioritizes things by importance,
but on a cellular level, our memory does not.
If you’re capable of forgetting your cellphone,
you are potentially capable of forgetting your child.”
– David Diamond, Professor of Molecular Physiology
at the University of South Florida.
Twenty years ago hot car death was a rare event. But in the 1990’s car-safety experts found front airbag deployment killed children. They recommended child car seats be moved to the back seat and rear facing – making it almost impossible for the driver to see the child in the back seat. Out of site out of mind.
And then there is an even larger number of children who die because they were not restrained in a car seat during a crash. Vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for children. In the US on average, over 150,000 children are sent to the emergency room from car related injuries and over 1,000 of them are fatal. The NHTSA reported in 2013 that more than a third of children killed in crashes were not in car seats.
Again the NHTSA responded by launching a public service campaign, “Child Passenger Safety Week” in the month of September; an annual push to educate parents about proper use of car seats so little ones remain properly restrained.
Public awareness campaigns are not enough to prevent the needless deaths of children in cars.
Bob Steffen, developer of Driver’s Little Helper candidly believes, “The idea that education is enough has always bugged me. How do you teach a little kid not to get out of their car seat? … How do you teach a parent not to forget? You just can’t. It’s a contradictory idea.”
A real solution is a car seat monitor that prevents accidents from happening. One that works with any car seat and is affordable.
Bob Steffen is the developer of Driver’s Little Helper and father of three from St. Louis, MO. When Bob’s son wiggled out of his car seat as a toddler, Bob recognized the dangers. He worked with a Ford engineer to perfect the design. And after eight years of design and development, Bob got his first patent. He found a manufacturer and went to market. And today there is a smartphone-enabled car seat alert system called Driver’s Little Helper, available to parents who cares enough about safety and preventing accidents from happening. Just recently Driver’s Little Helper was awarded the Mom’s Choice Award, honoring excellence in family-friendly media, products and service.
“This is a proactive monitor,” says Steffen. “It’s not like a smoke detector.
We don’t wait for the fire. We let you know beforehand that something could go wrong,
so you have time to adjust and keep your kids safe.”
Driver’s Little Helper is the only product on the market that monitors three important events: it alerts parents and caregivers if the temperature inside the car is too hot or cold, when a child leaves the car seat, and if a child is left behind in the seat after the vehicle has stopped moving.
Driver’s Little Helper works like this: just use an adhesive sticker to fasten the sensor under the seat cushion of any car seat. Plug the battery pack to the sensor pad and download a smartphone app (for free). The sensor talks to either your iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth. The device alerts drivers by distinct tones to any problems; temperature, movement and arrival – it can also be set to send text messages if multiple reminders are ignored.
Steffen felt it was important to keep the price point for Driver’s Little Helper low. The bundle, which includes the sensor pad, a battery pack, app information and an instructional booklet, retails for $79.99 and is available today @ DriversLittleHelper.com, Amazon.com and Sears.com.
Until car manufactures design, into every car, a better way to monitor baby in the back seat and alert parents to potential danger, Driver’s Little Helper is the only solution.
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