December 2, 2019
Stamps Professor and Dean Emeritus Allen Samuels has proposed a simple device that could help save dozens of children’s lives each year. Samuels designed this child alert device in hopes of finding a sponsor to fabricate and distribute the tags nationally.
Over 30 children died this year because a driver exited their car and forgot that a child was secured in a child safety seat. Hot days and an extended time in the car result in deaths and family tragedies.
Automobile companies say they will have an integral child alert device or system in every new car by 2025. Child safety seat manufacturers may have a device earlier. In the meantime, more children will die when a driver is stressed, rushed, or not used to transporting children in the back seat and leaves a child behind by accident. In addition, when new safety alert devices are available on new cars and child seats, millions of older cars and child seats will not have them, leaving children vulnerable.
I have designed a simple, low tech, low cost, and immediate solution that can save lives. It consists of a thin, die cut, plastic tag with text on both sides. The front reads “CHILD ABOARD and instructions for proper use are on the back.
When a driver secures a child into a child safety seat in the back seat of a car, they would then locate the brightly colored and bold tag onto the driver’s side car door handle. Once in place, there is no way a driver could exit the car without seeing and touching the child alert tag located on the car door handle.
This simple and immediate device can be fabricated today and at a cost of one cent per tag.