Automakers have been addressing the rise of hot car deaths through the implementation of in-car systems that remind drivers to check the backseat. But what about parents who aren’t looking for a new car and still want the security of hot car tech? The eClip by Elepho, a child car seat reminder, may be the solution.
The eClip, retailing at $49.99, is a small Bluetooth-powered alarm attachable to the inside of the car, a diaper bag, or the car seat itself. The alarm works by reminding drivers, via a smartphone app, that their child is still in the back seat. Drivers get these notifications whenever they are more than 15 feet away from their vehicle.
The eClip also doubles as an in-car thermometer. Users specify temperature limits, and whenever the rear of the car gets too hot or too cold, the device will alert the driver to change the air conditioning of the rear seat.
To maximize safety, Elepho engineers designed the eClip so it’s nearly impossible for children to turn it off on their own. The eClip also has no small parts that could pose a choking hazard to young children.
For users without smartphones or who prefer not to download extra apps, Elepho stated the company is working on developing a key fob that will alarm once the driver is more than 15 feet from the car if their child is still inside.
When the eClip was still in development, creators looked to Kickstarter to make the lifesaving device a reality. According to Romper, Michael Braunhold, CEO of Elepho, said the inspiration for the product came from recently published research on “forgotten baby syndrome” (FBS).
Caregivers are most susceptible to having FBS “when there is a change … [in] routine, such as dropping a child off at daycare when this is not normally performed,” Braunhold told Romper.
Contrary to a popular stigma that blames hot car deaths on “bad parenting,” research has proven no one is immune from FBS. University of South Florida psychology professor David Diamond, Ph.D, disputes the hot car death stigma. “It’s a matter of circumstances. It can happen to everyone,” Diamond told Consumer Reports.
In fact, when the brain is focusing on too many things at once, (i.e. what needs to be done at work, who needs to be picked up, what errands to run, what needs to be done at home) it’s easy to lose awareness of things that may seem important—including your child sitting in the backseat.
Getting a car with a reminder system or a product like the eClip is just one way to prevent losing a loved one to vehicular heatstroke. Developing good habits, like always checking the backseat before leaving the car, regardless of whether or not you brought your child with you, can also ensure your family is safe from hot car entrapment.