SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health and law enforcement officials demonstrated Tuesday a new safety device intended to prevent the deaths of children in hot cars.

Primary Children’s Hospital will begin offering a bright yellow lanyard, resembling police tape with a car seat buckle at the end, as a visual cue for parents that their child is still in the car.

In black, bold lettering, “Baby In Car” is repeated across the lanyard, called Baby Safety Snap.

“We were so impressed with the simplicity of the design that we wanted to make it available to families in Utah and the Intermountain West,” said Jessica Strong, community health manager at the children’s hospital.

When not in use, Strong said the lanyard should be buckled into a car seat. After a child is buckled in to the car seat, the driver will wear the bright-colored lanyard around their neck. If the driver forgets the child, the lanyard will act as a reminder for them or for passers-by.

So far in 2018, 23 children have died in hot cars across the U.S., according to safety organization Kids and Cars. On average, the organization reports, 37 children die each year in hot cars.

In Utah, 12 children have died in hot cars since 1996, the hospital reported.

Strong said stress, fatigue and a change of routine have been known to push parents into “autopilot” and increase the likelihood of forgetting a child in the back seat.

“It’s tragic whenever a child comes in critical condition, but when it’s preventable, it’s especially heartbreaking,” said Chuck Pruitt, a medical adviser for child advocacy at Primary. “I’ve seen children come in with heat stroke — their bodies can’t dissipate heat the way adults can.”

Pruitt said anything that acts as a reminder, like placing a stuffed animal in the front seat when the child is …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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