According to a web publication by Rice University News and Media, an average of 38 children die each year after being left in hot cars. Five graduates of Rice University have responded to this societal concern by designing a car seat accessory to protect infants accidentally left in hot vehicles by notifying caregivers and emergency personnel.
The product is called Infant SOS and includes a device secured into standard car seats to issue auditory, visual and text notifications when sensing an infant is in danger. Infant SOS features a passive cooling system designed to keep an infant’s core temperature below 104 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid heat stroke until emergency responders arrive.
Infant SOS works through sensors which detect movement and temperature. If the device senses the car is parked with a child still seated, alert responses are activated after 30 seconds beginning with visual and auditory alerts. The visual alert involves a flashing row of red LED lights that line the car seat and the audio alert is an actual alarm. After five minutes, text alerts are sent out, and special programming features offer text notifications delivered to as many as ten individuals including emergency personnel.
Should there be a delayed response, the added benefit of a cooling system serves as a backup to sustain a nonfatal body temperature. The cooling system is engineered with a heat absorbing material for keeping the infant’s core temperature at a safe level. Funding for this groundbreaking idea was provided by Dr. Susan Baldwin through her company, Mamoru Enterprises LLC. The engineering participants expect the product to cost around $150.00 once brought to market, which is a small price to pay for the safety and peace of mind the product will deliver.
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