This year marks the historical high of infant hot car deaths. It’s easier for us assume this only happens to negligent parents but statistically that is not the case. These accidents usually occur when the parent’s routine is altered and their brain goes on auto pilot mode of their regular routine, which does not involve transporting a tot in the car. For example, a parent normally does not drop off the tot at childcare but due to circumstances must do so on a particular day. The parent gets in the car and the habit forming part of the brain, which is stronger, takes over and drives them directly to work. Since they’ve never had to remove a tot from the car at the place of work, the brain naturally blocks out all cues and inclinations of doing so.
As with everything involving safety, it is better to be safe than sorry. We have monitors and safety measures for everything, but why not an alarm that reminds us to take our tot out of the car? There are 2 products that do just that. The Cars-N-Kids turns on automatically with the weight of the child and plays a lullaby every time the car stops. It is only $29.95. But because it plays a lullaby every time the car stops (including stop lights), I prefer the Child Minder, which has a device attached to your car keys and the alarm will go off if you are more than 15 feet from the car when the child is in the car. The Child Minder has a chest clip that replaces the current chest clip of your car seat, so when it is clipped, the system is turned on. This product is $69.95 and you can get additional key rings for additional caregivers for $28.95.
Parenting Magazine has an article with other precautions to take to avoid this from happening to you.