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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Child Safety

Here is an article about an invention that I read about last September that I meant to post, but never got around to. It's about a device to save your child's life that no caring parent can afford to be without. Here's a little summary of how it works as seen in this article:

The gadget is linked to the car’s child seats and sends reminders to the parent’s mobile phone that their child – or children – is still alone in the car.

The reminders gradually become more urgent until 11 minutes later the device sets off an alarm to tell anyone nearby that a child is in danger.
The first reminder is sent three minutes after the car door is shut. Three minutes later, the device automatically lowers the vehicle’s rear windows by 5cm to let in some air. After eight minutes it switches on the air conditioning.

If the parent has still not returned after another three minutes – a total of 11 minutes after he or she left the car – the gadget sets off a loud alarm.

Yes, that's right. This is a device for parents who routinely leave their children alone in cars. According to the article, “A lot of people forget their children in the car and especially infants.” It also tells the sad story in which, “Recently, a man who was supposed to take his child to nursery forgot that his child was in the car and only realised after he finished work. He found his child dead in the car." See the article for more amazing quotes.

While I don't wish to make light of children being baked alive in cars, it does show an unbelievable level of carelessness and parental neglect when a product like this becomes necessary, especially in a country in which the temperature reaches 110 degrees outside the car.

To be fair to the writer of the article, there are some quotes from people criticizing the device saying that it will give parents a false sense of security. In addition, the inventor of the device only came up with the idea after hearing about over a dozen kids dying in cars and thought that he could try to do something about it. I guess that I'm glad it was invented but it did come as a little bit of a shock to the system when I read about this a month into my stay here. Perhaps they can advertise this in pachinko parking lots in Japan.

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