Victorian Coroner Sara Hinchey urged the Australian government to consider new safety guidelines for car seats to prevent infant deaths.
The proposed new rules may cover a wide range of products, including black duck seat covers and other canvas seat covers. Hinchey floated the proposal after she released the results of an investigation, which involves the death of a 22-month-old child in central Victoria in February 2015 due to heatstroke from a hot car.
Forgotten Baby Syndrome
Hinchey’s investigation revealed the “forgotten baby syndrome,” which occurs when parents become too disoriented due to their busy schedule and lack of sleep among other factors. Over the last 10 years, one in five children died from being left behind in a car.
This trend prompted the Victorian coroner to urge the Federal Government to act on revising car design standards. The introduction of sensory technology also serves as a good option, according to the probe. In the U.S., this type of technology has been used for cars to send “memory cues” to drivers if they are about to leave someone behind in a car.
As car sales in 2016 reached a new record figure of 1.178 million vehicles, the proposed review of new rules for car seats may come at a right time.
There are, however, some tools and equipment that can help parents and other drivers, according to Monash University associate professor Matthew Mundy. For instance, specialist mirrors on vehicles could let parents know if someone is still inside a car after they lock it. Video monitoring systems could also remind them in case they forget about their child.
The new safety guidelines will help parents to be more mindful of their children. As car sales in Australia reached record numbers, more people should be aware about safety since anyone could accidentally leave a child behind in a vehicle.