Yesterday, new legislation passed in Israel. Starting in August, all cars traveling with a child under age 4 must have a device to remind them about the child in the car. This is an amazing idea to help prevent children being left in the car and overheating. However, upon further review the details become worrisome.
There are currently only three approved devices. Each device is a cushion that is placed inside the child’s car seat that will notify a phone when the child is removed. As a child passenger safety technician, I work tirelessly to teach caregivers safety within the car. A crucial rule is to never add anything to your car seat that does not come with your car seat or is approved by the car seat manufacturer for use with your seat. The devices approved in this law have not been tested with each car seat. They do not come with your seat and are not tested with your seat therefore, are unsafe to use. There is no way to know how this cushion will impact the harness and it’s ability to save lives in the event of a crash.
An additional issue is the cost of the approved devices. Each device costs around 400 NIS ($123), which would be a huge financial burden for many families. If you have multiple children the cost will add up.
This law is incredibly important and finding safe options to remind us about our children in the car is equally as important. We need to work with our minsters and legislation to approve other devices and make this law easier for everyone to follow in a safe way.