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Lanyard device aims to prevent child deaths inside hot cars

Baby Safety Snap lanyard (Photo: Intermountain Health Care)

SALT LAKE CITY — Primary Children’s Hospital on Tuesday began demonstrating and giving away a safety device that helps prevent heat-related child injuries and deaths inside vehicles.

Baby Safety Snap is a low-tech solution that provides a visual reminder for drivers when they arrive at their destinations. A Massachusetts entrepreneur named Mike Hubert developed it.

It consists of a bright yellow lanyard that is buckled into a child car seat or seat belt receiver when it is unoccupied. When a child is buckled into a car, the driver removes the lanyard and wears it around his or her neck. The words “Baby in Car” are printed on the lanyard. If the driver leaves the vehicle without removing the child and replacing the lanyard, other people will be alerted to the situation.

Primary Children’s Hospital Community Health Manager Jessica Strong called Baby Safety Snap an added support to help prevent the worst from happening.

“We’re all human. We all have bad days,” says Strong. “Especially new parents are tired and sleep-deprived.”

Around 40 children die each year in the U.S. after being left in a hot car according to the National Safety Council. More than 20 fatalities have been reported nationwide so far this year. Of those deaths, 87-percent were children under age 3.

Primary Children’s Hospital started showing off and handing out Baby Safety Snaps at 9:30 a.m. at the Eccles Outpatient Services Building’s south outdoor plaza, 81 N. Mario Capecchi Drive.

People who live in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Montana may request a Baby Safety Snap from Intermountain Healthcare online at PrimaryChildrens.org/safetysnap.

IHC will also hand out Baby Safety Snaps for free at a car seat checkpoint in the southwest parking lot of Intermountain Medical Center in Murray on Tuesday, July 17, from 9-11 a.m.