Honey, I forgot the kids

My latest car is packed with safety features.

It has an orange icon that appears on the dashboard if the tire pressure gets too low. An annual notification that pops up on the screen to nag me into getting its oil changed. A button to adjust the side view mirrors so they don’t get scraped pulling into or out of the garage. A back-up camera. An alert that beeps and flashes a red triangle on the dashboard to keep me from crashing into a solid object (although sometimes it beeps just for the heck of it and when that happens it startles me and I worry that someday it will startle me enough to CAUSE me to crash into a solid object). And, of course, there’s a reminder to take my key when I get out of the car.

What my car doesn’t have, though, is a notification that appears on the screen to remind me that I have children.

Fortunately, there now is an app for that.

As reported the other day by ABC News, “The navigation app Waze has released a new safety feature that reminds users not to forget their child, pet or other loved ones in the car before getting out. The feature, called ‘Child reminder,’ was made available to the public on (last) Thursday, when Waze released its latest update on app stores for Android and iOS.”

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“We’re constantly listening to our users’ requests and concerns, as well as paying attention to the news and looking into issues drivers face,” said Waze’s Head of Brand, Julie Mossler. “Just as drivers sometimes forget to turn off their headlights, they sometimes forget things in the car too,” Mossler explained. “This new feature helps keep people present in the vehicle and gives them a(n) important, possibly life-saving reminder, that drivers sometimes need.”

Comparing children left behind to headlights left on is not necessarily an analogy I would have used. But there’s no question that parents have a lot on their minds these days, such as worrying about whether their child’s strained peas are gluten-free. So stories about children being left in cars and dying of heatstroke are all too common and all too heart-breaking. Statistics say it happens on an average of 37 times a year in this country and any measure that might reduce that number is a great thing.

So if there’s even the most remote possibility that someday you will have so much on your mind that you might forget and leave a child in your car, I urge you to immediately buy this app.

Or, better yet, please don’t have children.

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