Some people think it could never happen to them. Others beg to differ.
Each summer, we hear more stories about babies accidentally left behind in cars.
Under the cruel heat of the summer sun, cars are like ovens.
This man demonstrated it by sitting in a parked car in the sun for 30 minutes with all four windows generously cracked.
It's heartbreaking, and it's terrifying for loving parents who see how it could happen when sleep-deprived and functioning on "autopilot."
The Internet has responded with all kinds of hacks to try to save children's lives.
- Leaving your left shoe in the backseat when you buckle your baby in. "Even if you get distracted or break your routine, when you get out of the car without your shoe, you will remember to get your baby out, too."
- A homemade rubber-band barrier to prevent you from getting out of the car and serve as a reminder that you brought the baby on this trip. Its young inventor said, "I'm hoping if I can save one life with my invention, I can say that my invention was successful."
- And this isn't really a hack, but a well-meaning plea for parents to become more present in the moment. While being more attentive is always good, it misses the point that distraction can happen to anyone, no matter how "on it" they usually are.
But if you're looking for a more advanced solution, you're in luck. There are new technologies meant to ensure a parent never forgets their child in the backseat.
Intel has a new Bluetooth product called Smart Clip that is compatible with any car seat and works with your smartphone to remind you of your precious cargo.
The app gives you information like temperature of the car and whether it's moving, but the best feature is that when your smartphone gets a certain distance away from the clip on the carseat, you get a pop-up message and audible tone that repeats every 20 seconds until you have retrieved your child and unclipped the product. It is scheduled to be available in late 2015.
But if you need peace of mind right now, Evenflo has just released a new carseat called SensorSafe. Similarly to the plug-in device that car insurance companies use to offer a safe driving discount to customers, a small piece of hardware gets plugged into the car's onboard diagnostic system, and it communicates with the car seat. If the car seat sensor detects weight after the ignition is turned off, a musical beep sounds to alert you immediately before you exit the car.
You could hope and believe it would never happen to you. Or you can take proactive steps (product-wise or homemade hacks) to decide now and every day that it won't.