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High-Tech Car Seat Keeps Parents and Kids Connected

Parents who worry about installing their child's car seat correctly, accidentally leaving their child in the car, or their child becoming unbuckled while the car is moving have a new, high-tech ally. The TOMY International First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat syncs with a parent's smartphone to provide feedback on installation and lets the parent know if the child is in the seat or not.

TOMY International

In a press release, TOMY says, "Each year, thousands of infants and children are killed or injured in motor vehicles, many of those fatalities as a result of an improperly installed car seat or a child who is improperly restrained while the vehicle is in motion." So far this year, 23 children have died as a result of being left in hot cars. The TOMY car seat seeks to help parents use car seats properly to protect their kids.

Janette Fennell, the founder and president of Kids and Cars, a safety advocacy group, told The New York Times, “When we’re dealing with a situation where our brains and our memory can let us down at the most inopportune time, technology can help."

The IAlert car seat can be used as a rear-facing infant seat or a forward-facing toddler seat. It fits children from 5 to 65 pounds. The app that links the seat to a parent's phone is available on iPhone and Android devices. Kelly Blue Book explains, "The advisory process for this innovative child seat starts with it verifying the recommended angle orientation when being installed in the rear-facing position, which is followed by a reminder to properly buckle up all restraints. It also delivers immediate audible and visual warning alerts if a child exits the seat while the vehicle is moving or is left unattended when the car is stopped. Finally, the synched IAlert seat constantly displays ambient temperature in the rear quarters to help prevent heatstroke -- which currently is the leading cause of non-crash-related infant car deaths - or other types of heat-induced issues."

Right now, Amazon.com is the only retailer that has the IAlert car seat. It costs $349.99.

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