Posts Tagged ‘ car safety ’

Don’t Forget Your Baby in the Car! There’s an App for That

Friday, July 25th, 2014

baby-in-carseatFifteen minutes is about the time it takes for most of us to run a quick errand. But it’s also how long it takes the inside of your parked car to climb to 109 degrees hot in the summer months — and that’s with the windows cracked open a couple of inches. Sitting inside such sweltering conditions, of course, delivers a punishing blow to the body, especially so for babies. Think brain and organ damage, heat stroke or even death, a nightmarish scenario we’ve seen play out too many times this summer. (Scary fact: 36 children die in overheated cars in the United States every year. Read this eye-opening Parents magazine piece about hot car dangers.)

But two new apps are hoping to put an end to this very preventable problem — and offer overwhelmed, distracted, exhausted, busy parents a helping hand. The first, “Precious Cargo,” was designed by a North Carolina dad of a one-year-old and is simple yet effective, reports Today: When you sit down in the car and Bluetooth is activated, you’ll receive a message from the app asking if you’re traveling with precious cargo (i.e. your baby). If you are, you enter the child’s name, and once the engine stops, you’ll receive an alert to remind you there’s “precious cargo” in the car. If you’re driving sans baby, the app is deactivated until the next time the car starts up.

The second, Kars4Kids Safety, is also a piece of cake to use. An customizable alarm goes off whenever you and your phone exit the car to remind you to retrieve your baby from the carseat. The app, created by the nonprofit Kars4Kids, just requires a Bluetooth-enabled phone and car.

Personally, there are just a few apps that can actually help make my life easier. These are among them. Besides the fact that they’re insanely user-friendly, they also reach us in a most reliable place — our cell phones — which most of us won’t even walk down the hall of our home without carrying. And they’re affordable to boot — Precious Cargo is 99 cents, while Kars4Kids is free. But the peace of mind these handy apps can offer us wiped-out, on-the-go parents? Invaluable.

Tell us: Would you use an app to help you remember to take baby out of a parked car?

Study: Car Seats, Vehicles Not Always A Good Fit
Study: Car Seats, Vehicles Not Always A Good Fit
Study: Car Seats, Vehicles Not Always A Good Fit

Getting ready to go on a trip? Visit our Diaper Bag checklist to make sure you don’t forget a thing. And remember to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news! 

Image of baby in carseat courtesy of Shutterstock

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This Toyota Car Will Revolutionize Your Road Trips

Monday, July 21st, 2014

2015_Toyota_Sienna_SE“I can’t wait to hop in the car and run errands with my child,” said no parent ever. If you’re not trying to snap your baby out of a crying jag with a one-handed backwards version of “Twinkle Twinkle,” then you’re mouth-breathing while an explosive poop fills up her diaper. (Side note: what’s up with the timing of those?) Oh, and yeah, you’re also trying to remember to keep your hands at 10 and 2, give people the right of way and always use your turn signal.

I mean, really.

Apparently, the engineers at Toyota are no strangers to the perils of traveling with kids and have designed what can only be described as every parent’s dream car. It’s a Sienna minivan, yes, but it’s a minivan that’s going to help you get from Point A to Point B without feeling like you’ve just run a marathon. That’s because it’s equipped with two magical features, the AP reports. The first, “Driver Easy Speak,” lets you speak into a built-in microphone that will amplify your voice through speakers in the backseat, making hollering over your shoulder a thing of the past (though feel free to continue shouting back there if needed). Best part? The feature only works for the driver, meaning your baby’s shrieks won’t be any louder than normal.

The second bell and whistle sure to win over parents is the “pull-down conversation mirror,” which lets you check on the kids without having to turn around. The feature is optional, but I can’t for the life of me imagine why a parent wouldn’t spring for it. Sparing yourself the agony of twisting around in the middle of a traffic jam to deal with a baby tantrum has got to be worth the extra cost.

But you’ll have to endure the road trips and errand-running without the high-tech help for now. The 2015 Sienna doesn’t roll into showrooms until this fall.

Tell us: How do you handle your baby’s meltdowns while driving? 

Safe-Driving Rules For Moms
Safe-Driving Rules For Moms
Safe-Driving Rules For Moms

Hitting the road with your baby? Don’t get caught unprepared. Consult our Diaper Bag Checklist to see what you should pack — and what can stay home.

Image of 2015 Toyota Sienna interior courtesy of Toyota

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Graco Recalls Over 1.9 Million Harness Buckles on Car Seats

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

car-seat-recallGraco has issued a recall for over 1.9 million harness buckles on certain infant and toddler car seats manufactured between July 2010 and May 2013, after consumers complained they were tough to open. Among the various models affected are Snug Ride, Snug Ride 30, Snug Ride 35, Argos 70, My Ride 65 and My Ride 70. (Check out the full list of infant and toddler car seats affected.)

To find out if your buckle is being recalled, visit and enter the model and date of manufacture. You can find that info on the white label on the bottom or back of the car seat. If your car seat is on the list — or you just want to upgrade your buckle to the updated, easier-to-open design — fill out the online order form and Graco will send you a free replacement kit. According to the company, your current car seat is perfectly safe to use while you’re waiting for the replacement buckle to come in. In fact, to help make it easier to operate in the interim, Graco recommends giving the buckle a thorough cleaning.

For more information, visit or contact customer service by calling 877-766-7470 or emailing

Tell us: How often (if ever) do you clean your child’s car seat?

Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake
Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake
Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake

Is your baby’s gear safe? Find out by visiting our Toy and Product Recall Finder. And be sure to keep up with the latest baby news by liking All About Babies on Facebook.

Image of baby in a car seat courtesy of Shutterstock 

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