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
  • Is getting your daily ‘shot’ of caffeine OK?

    Can’t live without your daily dose of caffeine? I know many people who will go out of the way just to grab a fresh cup of Joe or any caffeine shot to jump start their day or combat that afternoon lull.

    March 17, 2014

  • How virus sleuths and public health officials track the cause of a mysterious illness

    When a mysterious disease fells people - as happened in California recently, with as many as 20 children experiencing unexplained paralysis - teams of physicians and epidemiologists quickly mobilize. Perhaps you saw the movie "Contagion"? The idea is to find the culprit before it spreads but also to prevent public panic.

    March 12, 2014

  • Enjoy the taste of eating right

    It’s National Nutrition Month, and I really love this year’s theme: “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

    March 11, 2014

  • ERIC-HOLDER.jpg Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'

    Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lilly's diabetes drug rejected by FDA

    A diabetes pill developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim was rejected by U.S. regulators because of previously disclosed manufacturing deficiencies at a German plant that hadn't been resolved.

    March 5, 2014

  • Study says too much protein could lead to early death

    Even as researchers warned of the health risks of high-protein diets in middle age, they said eating more protein actually could be a smart move for people over 65.

    March 4, 2014

  • Do flu shots cause runny noses?

    The vaccine used in the study is similar to FluMist, of which 13 million doses were distributed in the United States this year. The work helps explain why runny noses were an occasional aftereffect of FluMist in clinical trials.

    March 4, 2014

  • Trying to lose weight? Reach for the nearest calico cat

    Interesting studies have discovered that cats may actually help us with weight loss.

    March 3, 2014

  • Six reasons childhood obesity has fallen so much

    A major new paper appearing in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that childhood obesity - age 2 to 5 - has fallen from 13.9 percent in 2003-04 to 8.4 percent in 2011-12.

    February 26, 2014

  • Does your insurance plan cover self-inflicted injuries?

    Dealing with a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. Some health plans make the experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide or an attempt - even though experts say that in many cases such exclusions aren't permitted under federal law.

    February 26, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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