Monday, June 20, 2011

Hyperthermia happened again... yesterday.

A 2 year old girl in the Atlanta area died on Monday.  She was left in a daycare van for at least 2 hours before she was found:

Kids in Hot Cars, Part 2

Do tinted windows contribute to hyperthermia deaths for children left in closed vehicles?

According to David Bell, the inventor of the VizKid, they certainly don’t help. Tinted windows (now standard in the second and third rows of minivans and SUVs) are great for the comfort and privacy of backseat passengers, but they also make those passengers invisible. So if the driver or other adult leaves the car in a hurried or distracted state, he or she could not see the child from outside the car. Nor could anyone passing by -- people who could literally have been a life line for that child.

Bell’s invention, the VizKid, is a visual cue to drivers and passers-by that a child is in the back seat. After seating and buckling the child, the driver lifts the VizKid upright and buckles it into the front row passenger seat. Ideally, when the driver leaves the car and takes the child, the VizKid goes down again. If the driver is distracted when s/he exits the car, but sees the VizKid before walking away, tragedy avoided. If the driver does leave, someone else could see the VizKid in the front seat and rescue the child before it is too late.

Check out the VizKid and Visible Kids LLC here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kids in Hot Cars, Part 1

Each year, about 40 children die from heat stroke (technically called hyperthermia) after being left behind in a motor vehicle. 

An excellent study led by Jan Null, a meteorologist at SFSU, shows that hyperthermia does not just happen on blistering hot days. Even on a relatively mild day, the temperature inside an enclosed car increases 50 degrees within the first 30 minutes. In other words, a child left inside a car on a 70-degree day could soon be suffering in 120-degree heat.

Here is the link to the study data:
The full article, as published in Pediatrics:

I find the maps most fascinating. They show children hyperthermia deaths in almost every state (even North Dakota or Wisconsin) and almost every month of the year. Heart breaks, each and every one.

Related posts:
Babies Forgotten In Cars
Babies Forgotten In Cars, Continued

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thinking About A New Phone? Here's Good Comparison

About a month ago, I made the switch from a Blackberry to an Android phone because I wanted a bigger screen, better web interface and a better camera.  Because of my carrier, I could choose between an Android and an iPhone, but I'm happy enough with my decision and I don't have to mind-shift that much to get used to this new phone.

This NYT article compares and contrasts iPhone, Android and Blackberry.  It starts off about games, but hits a lot of important considerations based on what you want to use the phone to do.