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Clever Evenflo infant car seat uses tech to combat heatstroke risk

SensorSafe can provide life-saving alerts

Last updated: August 02, 2015 11:30 AM
Photo: Biel Photographic

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Evenflo Advanced Embrace DLX
Infant car seat installed in our Subaru Legacy.

On average, 37 children die of heat stroke each year after being left in a hot car, according to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose University. Often these deaths have been the result of a change in routine or increased stress factors for a loving caregiver. For several years, child passenger safety advocates have appealed to vehicle and child seat manufacturers to provide technological solutions for these tragic circumstances. Recently, one child seat manufacturer rose to the challenge. (Related "Hot cars: A deadly danger that can happen to anyone.")

A week ago, Evenflo introduced their new SensorSafe technology aimed at preventing child heatstroke deaths. The SensorSafe technology is integrated with the Advanced Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat’s chest clip and works in conjunction with a wireless receiver that connects to a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD-II).

Consumer Reports has purchased the Advanced Embrace DLX Infant Car Seat with SensorSafe technology and will soon test it.

Thus far, here’s what we find promising with this product:

  • Unlike other solutions, SensorSafe connects your child seat with your vehicle, not an app on your phone.
  • The SensorSafe chest clip has been crash tested with the infant seat by the child seat manufacturer, unlike aftermarket chest clips, which are not crash tested and thereby not recommended for use by child seat manufacturers or child passenger safety advocates.
  • Alerts are provided for two situations: if the chest clip is unbuckled while the vehicle is moving, and secondly, upon arrival at your destination, when turning off the engine.
  • The wireless receiver can work with multiple SensorSafe chest clips in the same vehicle.

It’s important to note that the SensorSafe technology is currently only compatible with vehicle model year 2008 and newer, traditional gasolines/diesel-fueled vehicles, and only with Evenflo Embrace infant car seats with maximum weight ratings greater than 30 lbs.

For hybrid or stop/start vehicles, contact the Evenflo ParentLink: 1-800-233-5921 (US), 1-937-773-3971 (Canada), or 01-800-706-12-00 (Mexico).

Although this featured seat is sold as a package, the components can be purchased separately and added to the Evenflo Select Infant Car Seat with SureSafe, Evenflo Select Infant Car Seat, and Evenflo LX Infant Car Seat. On sale in early 2016, the chest clip and standard receiver will cost $8 and $50, respectively.

The technology looks promising, and we applaud industry efforts to reduce the number of child heat stroke fatalities.

Stay tuned for more detailed testing of the SensorSafe technology by our child seat experts.

See our child seat buying advice and ratings.

Emily A. Mathews

 

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