A good car seat alarm can be a lifesaver. Quite literally. An average of 37 children die each year in hot vehicles, according to the safety organization Kids and Cars. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-car crash vehicular death in children under 15. Children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults’, and because cars can heat up in as little as 10 minutes, kids can experience heat stroke even it’s only 57 degrees outside.
The good news is there are precautions parents can take to avoid encountering these nightmare scenarios. Parents should never leave kids alone in hot cars, but it can happen, even unintentionally. Car seat alarms and sensors serve as a reminder. Of course, adults should always check the back seat before walking away, buckle their children before driving, and never leave kids alone in a hot car. But life happens, and even the most well-intentioned caregivers can forget. Investing in a car seat alarm or a car seat with sensors can provide an extra layer of protection.
Some car seats have built-in sensors that attach to the harness and sync to a phone, alerting caregivers when a child is left alone or their temperature becomes too high or low. Another option is a small, independent car alarm that attaches to car safety belts and syncs with a phone. Both car seat alarms serve the same purpose: to set off alarms should an adult walk away from the car while the child is inside, whether by sensing movement, or monitoring temperature, distance, or weight.
Car seat alarms and sensors can’t replace caution and good sense, but they can provide an extra safety reminder and ease worried parent’s minds. These are the most solid car seat alarm options on the market right now.
Thanks to its SensorSafe technology, this convertible car seat lets features an alarm to let you know when your child is left in the car or if he or she unbuckles the chest clip in a moving car. Here's how it works: The SensorSafe clip connects to your phone and alerts you when the ambient temperature in the car changes or if your child has been seated too long. The car seat fits kids 4-50 pounds in rear-facing mode, and up to 65 pounds in forward-facing mode.
This car seat baby alarm attaches to the car seat or seat belt, connects to your smartphone, and sends proximity alerts. Turn it on and it syncs via Bluetooth to either your smartphone or an accompanying key fob. Get out of the car and walk more than 15 feet away without your child and an alarm goes off. Keep walking because somehow you don't hear it, and the eClip will start texting a spouse, relative, or friend. It also has a built-in thermometer and will alert the driver if temps in the back seat get either too hot or too cold.
This is technically a device to stop car theft, but one of its functionalities is to send notifications to your phone if any unusual vibrations are detected, like those of a thrashing, crying child. So it's not unlike a car baby monitor. It’s a real-time tracking system that monitors your vehicle and alerts you of any suspicious activity when it's connected to your phone. It updates data every 30 seconds when a car isn't moving, for $10 per month.
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