Hot car deaths spur conversation about prevention methods and new technology

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.-- After a seven month old baby died after being left in a parked car at the Marshall Space Flight Center, there has been much public outrage. According to an Redstone Arsenal spokesperson, the parent intended to drop the baby off at a child care center, but instead went straight to work.

This tragic accident has probably deeply affected parents who might be thinking about what they would do in that situation. Most people with small children, and busy lives, can imagine the possibility, if not the horror, of such a loss.

WHNT News 19 took action and spoke with some experts about ways to be more vigilant. NCAC Prevention Director, Deborah Callins, said parents have so many responsibilities, but one of them is to keep their children safe.

"Anybody who transports a child needs to come up with some system simple, like putting the diaper bag in the front seat, or more complicated like trying to find an app that can help them, and then double checking if the routine changes," she said.

Callins said apps are a great way to easily add that extra reminder.

" GPS apps, Waze is working on an addition to their app that would remind you that there's a child in the backseat," she said.

And, new technology is in the works that could soon be required for all vehicles.

"There's federal legislation that's being proposed and it's called the Hot Cars Act," said Callins.

The Hot Cars Act will require all cars to have some type of safety reminder to alert drivers if a child is left unattended, like certain GM models which have a rear seat reminder technology.

Some prevention methods don't even need to disrupt your normal routine.

"The person who is transporting the child can put their purse or something they're taking with them in the back seat with the child so they can remember to look in the back seat," said Callins.

She added that these are all tried and true methods. And, even if the Hot Cars Legislation doesn't end up passing, GM said they're planning on putting the rear seat reminder technology in all of their makes and models.