Protect Your Child: The Doona SensAlert Review and Hot Car Danger Awareness

by AutoExpert   |  14 June, 2024

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Hey there, fellow parent! Buckle up, because we're about to talk about something scary: hot car deaths. It's a nightmare no parent wants to face, and with those summer scorchers coming our way, it's a good time to revisit safety.

For parents, the worry meter was constantly on overdrive. Every gurgle, every sniffle – is it a sign of something serious?  Those anxieties calm down a bit as your little one grows, but new dangers pop up, like the whole "leaving-your-kid-in-a-baking-car" situation. Yikes.  Especially with these crazy heat waves, it's easy to see how a car can turn into an oven in minutes.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even warns that a seemingly mild car temperature in the 60s can skyrocket to 110 degrees Fahrenheit inside!  And according to the National Safety Council, around 38 kiddos die in hot cars every single year.  Ugh.

Doona SensAlert

So, when we heard about the Doona SensAlert, a fancy Bluetooth thingy that sits in your car seat and yells "Hey! Don't forget your kid!" if you walk away, we was all ears. Here's the deal: it's super easy to use.  Just turn it on, set it up with their app (which takes like five minutes, the longest part being adding emergency contacts), stick it in your car seat, and voila!  You've got a car seat nanny.

Doona SensAlert

The SensAlert is a drama queen with three levels of freaking out.  First, if it thinks your little one is chilling in the car seat and you wander off, you'll get a notification on your phone like, "Yo, your kid is still here!"  Then, if you keep going after two minutes, it'll blow up your phone with a call. Finally, if you're still MIA, it'll call and text your emergency contacts like a frantic robot babysitter.  At any point you can be like "Chill out, SensAlert, it's all good!" through the app or by answering the call.

Doona SensAlert

Here's the thing –  this device is made for Doona car seats, but they say it works with most others. A fellow of ours has tried it out in his Graco car seat, and it seemed okay.  Doona says their design lets the middle buckle thingy fit most car seats.

Now, before you rush out and buy this, there are a few things to consider.  We talked to some car safety experts, and they're not huge fans of these after-market doohickeys.  Their concern? Safety.  These haven't necessarily been crash-tested with other car seats, which is a big deal.

Doona SensAlert

Another thing to remember: don't go crazy with the car seat accessories.  Those cute stuffed animals or dangly toys might seem harmless, but in a crash, they can turn into dangerous projectiles. Yikes!

So, if you've got a Doona car seat, then the SensAlert might be a good fit.  But for everyone else, there are car seats out there with similar technology already built-in, which is generally considered safer.  The downside?  They can be a bit pricey.  Hey,  safety isn't cheap, but neither is a trip to the ER.

Doona SensAlert

For now, our friend is taking the Doona SensAlert out of his Graco car seat (it probably shouldn't be there anyway), but he's keeping the car seat mirror for now.  The bottom line?  Keeping your kid safe in the car is priority number one.  Always double-check your backseat before you walk away, and if you're looking into new tech, make sure it's compatible with your car seat.  Stay safe out there!
 

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