'How we can help prevent children from dying in hot cars'

'The Hot Cars Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), would require all new passenger cars to be "equipped with a child safety alert system." The bill mandates a "distinct auditory and visual alert to notify individuals inside and outside the vehicle" when the engine has been turned off and motion by an occupant is detected.

The Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Telluride already offer such technology,

OK, so what happens if the infant doesn’t move, or move enough to be detected?
Motion detection alone is not enough if a guarantee is desired…

No parent of a young child is immune to Forgotten Baby Syndrome

I’ll call BS on that one. I think the majority of parents wouldn’t have this happen. I think the evidence supports it…


Again we try to use technology and legislation to replace common sense and reasonable parenting. I don’t remember ever in the 50’s or 60’s of this happening (maybe it did, I dunno) but that was before car seats that make it difficult to move kids in and out of cars and also put the child in the back seat where along with head rests and restricted visibility the kids may be forgotten. So there are consequences to every improvement.

Just last week there were two kids left in a van while the mother shopped for a little bit. Edit: (A deranged person) A guy living in a van parked his van next to the van with the kids and (set it on fire) caught fire due to a hot camp stove. So the fire spread to the van with the kids. One died and the other is critical. What legislation would prevent that?

If it works great, but I would prefer to not legislate it and let the market handle it. Now I wonder how that option would work on a date?

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I can’t imagine “forgetting” one of my kids. “Oh, I just forgot they were back there.” I can’t see it.


You’d be surprised how it happens- and to whom.

I have two friends who have done this- luckily nothing happened to either child, but their normal routine was somehow messed with, and in the hussle and bussle of everything else- kids got left in cars. Great parents, very committed to their children. Life just distracted them briefly and tragedy could very well have struck.
it’s easier that it sounds. :confused:


I’m trying to be careful not to judge. Stuff happens. I get that. I still can’t imagine forgetting I had one of my kids in the car… I haven’t seen every circumstance, so I don’t know. I just can’t see it from my vantage point.


Given how hot the inside of a car can get, I’d have no problems breaking a window and calling the law if I see a kid in a car.

I don’t think a gizmo will be very effective. A law protecting me if I pop another persons car window to release their kid would likely be more effective.


It’s one of those “law be damned” scenarios in my opinion. The heat index here was like 120 yesterday. Better today. Thank you, Lord!


Heh heh. I had good parents but I got left in the kitchen not in the car. In my high chair and folks left with my sister in the car and looked around and said “where’s Bing?” I don’t remember of course but that was the confirmed account.

Yeah it’s tragic when it happens. Last year even had one forget the kid was on the roof in her car seat. Turned out well when someone picked her up off the road and kept her safe. I still fault some of the car designs and mandated safety features to some extend but by and large people need to slow down a little and take a deep breath and fight distractions.

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It already is for me but it might keep others from popping the glass


I am one of the most absentminded people in the world. I could easily see it happening to me. Fortunately, when my kids were growing up we didn’t have car seats, or for a good part of the time, seat belts. We also did not have day care. My wife was our day care. When we needed more money, I got a second job.

I think a better thing would be to put a cellphone jammer in the cars so parents arent so distracted .

Agree , if they are that distracted they probably shouldnt be driving either .

No rule covers all cases. It’s enough that it catches some.

This is a bit of rhetoric to recruit sympathy for the bill.

To compensate for their occasional lack. There’s a lot of things reasonable people with common sense wouldn’t do that some still do, some that laws can mitigate.

It’s possible it didn’t make the news.

Which are protecting kids. So think of it as a response to that.

The market has already unhandled it.

How do you propose to legislate that?

So when you have one child with special needs and you’re distracted because you have an extremely tightly scheduled day around multiple specialist appointments along with the craziness of every day life you shouldn’t be driving? Give me a break

My boys are 15 months apart, never left one of them in the car unless I wanted to (aka they just fell asleep when we got home so we let them sleep in the garage in their car seats with the windows down.

I’ve seen it happen, before, though. Heck I was riding along with the AAA tow truck one time moving my father-in-law’s Golf, and we diverted because a kid climbed up into the back of the minivan, got buckled into his car seat, mom dropped her keys, then didn’t notice that the doors were locked. Fortunately the kid wasn’t in the car for more than 5 min and the temperature was in the 70s or 80s

According to you. Who the heck made you the grand poobah of child safety measures and determining what is acceptable?
Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to mandate a system that falls short of the goal when it could be better without much more effort. Typical knee-jerk reactions to placate the vocal minority… But since you’re the poobah setting the standard…

Me too. Back, what, 10 years ago when there was that long spate of kids dying in hot cars. I strongly suspected at the time that the first one might have been an accident, and then when they didn’t file charges because “the parent’s been punished enough,” some jerks figured out that’s a good way to get rid of your kid without getting in trouble.

BTW, Bing has his facts wrong. The “deranged” person was not deranged, but forgetful. He and his wife were living in his van. He tossed blankets in the back, forgetting that he had a stove back there that he’d recently used to cook food. The guy wasn’t nuts, he was dumb. The fire was accidental, which is why he was charged with 2nd degree manslaughter and negligent fire, not murder.

I would say that it’s not just possible, but more than likely that stories like this didn’t make it into the news in the “good old days”.

I can’t speak for the local TV news coverage in other areas, but in the NYC broadcast region, an incredible amount of news coverage is given to car accidents, muggings, babies left in cars, and even vandalism. I believe that the ubiquity of security cameras and cell phone video is the reason for the increased coverage of stories that wouldn’t have been considered newsworthy years ago.

Nowadays, they can run video clips of incidents that are really only of local interest, yet they are broadcast to several states. A couple of mornings ago, one of the NYC stations had extensive live helicopter coverage of a car that wound-up in a lake. It was quickly determined that nobody was in the car, but for the entire morning broadcast, they kept returning to live coverage of the “car in the lake” story. :unamused:

Additionally, many years ago, news coverage on TV was limited to 15 minutes or so. In that limited time span, they could only cover major stories. Nowadays, anything with available video will run on the two hour long local news program.

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It’s hard to imagine someone forgetting any child, let alone their own child, was in their car and leaving them there and going to work or wherever. Maybe some people’s lives are so overwhelmingly stressful that they could possibly let that happen but it would seem that they would have often found themselves losing their cars in parking lots, getting to work and realizing they had their shower shoes on, running out of gas on their way home, etc., before allowing themselves to forget their own child. But who am I to judge, right.