Meadville Tribune

Our Health

August 1, 2012

Forgotten-baby devices don't always work

Parents should not count on three types of electronic devices designed to alert them when they've forgotten a baby strapped in a car seat, federal officials said Monday.

  The performance of the devices - one that relies on a chest buckle sensor and two that use seat pads - is too inconsistent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

  "These sense the presence of a child; they just don't do it reliably enough," said Kristy Arbogast, a researcher at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who tested the devices for the federal agency.

 "While these devices are very well intended and we do appreciate the manufacturers and inventors, we have found a number of limitations in these devices," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said. "We don't think they can be used as the only countermeasure to make sure that you don't forget your child behind in a car."

  The three devices are the Suddenly Safe Pressure Pad, the ChildMinder Smart Clip System and the ChildMinder Smart Pad. There was no immediate response from the three manufacturers.

   The NHTSA report said that, in some cases, spilled liquids caused malfunctions, cellphone use interfered with device signals, devices turned off and on during travel and an improperly positioned child caused seat pads to malfunction.

   "In sum, the devices require considerable effort from the parent/caregiver to ensure smooth operation," the report said.

   Arbogast said, however, that the designs of the three devices are conceptually sound.

   "Speaking with the manufacturers of these technologies, we know that many refinements already are underway," she said.

  The report did not evaluate electronic devices that have come on the market since the study began. Nor did it test the effectiveness of non-electronic reminders such as wrist bands and similar items.

 Release of the report was timed to coincide with the hottest time of the year in a bid to draw attention to the deaths of infants and toddlers left behind in cars, where temperatures can soar past 130 degrees.

 NHTSA said heatstroke is the leading cause of vehicle-related deaths not involving crashes for children under 14. There were 33 child deaths due to hyperthermia in vehicles last year, and at least 49 deaths in 2010. They have been 527 heatstroke-related child fatalities reported since 1998.

  Strickland said there was no evidence that tied distraction from the use of a mobile device to cases in which a child was forgotten in a car.

1
Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks