Thursday, August 27, 2009

STOP! You Left The Kid In The Car!

Each year we read stories like this one. And each year we wonder how can a parent forget that their kids are in the car.

Now an enterprising Israeli inventor has invented a device to alert parents that they have left the child or children in the car.
Trying to prevent the next tragedy. Two Israeli innovators recently developed a new system for preventing parents from accidentally locking their kids in the car. The invention has already been registered as an international patent. The principle is fairly simple. If you have opened the doors and have left the child in the car seat, a verbal warning will remind you to take the child out of the car.

The system is very sensitive to any weight, such that even if you left a milk carton in the seat, it will give you a warning.

"This is a very inexpensive system that is compatible with any car seat and can be installed yourself," explained engineer, Idan Nahami, 26, who developed the new invention together with his brother-in-law, Moshe Attias. "Unfortunately, we need a device like this in Israel. Our patent includes a special light bulb that must be screwed into the car's light fixture instead of the regular bulb. This light bulb, in addition to acting like a regular light bulb, sends out an infrared signal as soon as the door is open and the internal illumination is automatically activated.

"The second part of the system includes a cushion installed underneath the car seat or booster seat the child sits on, or on the back of the seat. This cushion is activated as soon it detects that something is sitting on it, and initiates a 'dialogue' with the infrared light. The cushion also has a buzzer that goes off as long as the door is open and the child is sitting in the seat."

Nahami, a communications engineer who works at Cisco Israel, started thinking about developing such a system two years ago. Even though he is a bachelor and doesn't have any children, he was horrified when he heard about the one-and-a-half-year-old toddler, Ophir Balilti, who was accidentally left in the car by her father.

"I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was a painful, unnecessary death and a trauma that will follow the parent for the rest of his life. A test that I did revealed that the temperature in a car left in the sun for 20 minutes increases from 37 C (98 F) to more than 47 C (116 F). After 40 minutes, the temperature can reach more than 58 C (136 F). These figures aren't etched strongly enough in the minds of parents who forget their kids in the car, or worse, who knowingly leave them in the car 'for just a minute.'"

Continue reading here.
My big question is why didn't anyone think of this sooner?

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