The creator of the baby alarm posted a thoughtful response to this postt in the comments below. Please be sure to read his thoughts!
I saw a new product the other day, a gadget that sounds an alarm when a parent opens a car door to place a baby’s car seat into a car. It will sound again when the parent goes to get out of the car as a reminder to get the baby out of the back seat.
Every year, “hot cars” is a story almost every newsroom covers. The hope is that by reminding people of the danger of leaving a child unattended inside a locked car, no child will be left in such a situation and, thereby, no child will lose his life because of the soaring temperatures on a sunny afternoon.
This alarm’s goal is to prevent that. And I think that’s a good thing.
But something alarms me. (Pardon the pun.) What happens if a parent becomes too reliant on such a device?
I used to have a car key fob that had a lock and unlock button on my car. Years before the battery finally died, the little plastic area where the fob fit onto the keyring wore down to the point that the fob became separated from the keyring itself.
This turned out to be a good thing, because once I actually managed to lock my keys in my car. Because the fob was no longer on the keyring — it was still in my pocket — I simply reached into my pocket, pressed the unlock button and I was right back in my car. No problem.
On some level, though, I’m sure I was less concerned about locking my keys in my car because I knew I had a save waiting if I needed it.
When my car went into the shop and I had to rent a car, I quickly realized how much more attention I’d have to pay to the car keys because I no longer had the fob to save me from myself.
So what happens if a parent becomes so dependent on such a device, then has to suddenly change cars? Let’s say they attend a family reunion and end up driving a different car and forget the alarm?
On some level, it seems to me, if a parent actually needs that alarm at all, there’s great reason to worry.
But a parent who becomes dependent on the reminder is potentially that much closer to a calamity as soon as the alarm isn’t there. Or, for that matter, as soon as the alarm’s battery dies unexpectedly.
It’s a great idea in theory, but I wonder how dangerous a false sense of security could be created.
What do you think of the idea of a baby alarm in a car? Good idea or bad? Leave me a comment and let me know.