According to federal statistics, the most babies are born in the summer months, with July and August being the most popular. The summer also brings with it an extensive driving season as people head out of town for the weekend or vacation.
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One thing that new parents might not realize is that leaving children in the backseat of a vehicle can cause heatstroke in the summer months, which can result in death. According to NoHeatStroke.org, so far in 2016, 12 children have died from heat stroke from being left in a car. From 1998 to present, over 600 children have died from heatstroke in cars, with the average per year being 37.
Over half of these deaths resulted in parents accidentally leaving their child in the car, with the majority of deaths affecting children under two years old.
“In response to all of these heat stroke deaths we’ve seen, we’ve been working on features that accurately and reliably detect kids in the backseat” says Tricia Morrow, a staff engineer at General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) Global Safety Center.
This month, GM is rolling out a new rear seat reminder in the 2017 GMC Acadia. As tested by FOXBusiness.com, the rear seat reminder is a series of five chimes (different from the seatbelt reminder sound) that sound when the car is turned off and if the rear door has been opened or closed prior to completing the trip’s journey. The driver then sees a message in their dashboard that says “Rear Seat Reminder; Look in Rear Seat.”
The message is simply a reminder for drivers to look in the backseat before they exit the vehicle--it does not physically detect for a child's presence in the backseat.
Morrow also recommends for new parents driving this summer to always make sure that children are in the right car seats for their size and age.