iOS reminders for kids in car

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
With the recent story of the child left in a hot car, and with our ever changing schedule and who has which car and who drops kids off, etc., today I set up a location based reminder for when I arrive at work. I will never have my kids at work with me, so an alert when I arrive pops up and asks me to check if any kids are in the vehicle.

I could also set it to only remind on specific days, but I figure that defeats the purpose of the change in routine that can lead to forgetting a child. So I want it to ask me each and every time I arrive at work.

These reminders could also be set up when arriving at other locations. For me, and with my youngest being already 2.5 and loud, and that my mom starts texting and asking where we are if we're late dropping kids off in the morning, I felt this reminder will work for our situation. I'm going to have DH set one up for when he arrives at work as well.

I'm sure there are other apps that can do this for you on both iOS and Android. But I thought I'd just point out the built in one on the iPhone in case anyone else wanted to do the same.

Here's a link on how to set up location based reminders http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4970 I find it easy to do from the location as then I just choose "Current Location".
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
That's a good idea. My main concern, though, is that people will stop using it. Like, if someone rarely has their kid, they might set it up but then after a few weeks, they get tired of getting the alert everyday, so they shut it off. Or they get so used to getting the alert, they stop paying attention to what it's for. Like, it becomes so second-nature to ignore the alert that they ignore it when they need it, too.

Then again, it's certainly better than nothing and probably better than a lot of other ideas. So I say go for it, because at worst it won't make a difference, but at best it will.
 

nataliem257

New member
That's a good idea. My main concern, though, is that people will stop using it. Like, if someone rarely has their kid, they might set it up but then after a few weeks, they get tired of getting the alert everyday, so they shut it off. Or they get so used to getting the alert, they stop paying attention to what it's for. Like, it becomes so second-nature to ignore the alert that they ignore it when they need it, too.

Then again, it's certainly better than nothing and probably better than a lot of other ideas. So I say go for it, because at worst it won't make a difference, but at best it will.
Something else I thought of would be something similar to the angel care baby monitor. Something small you could slide under the seat cover that sensed the weight of the child present and the vibration of the running engine, and if the vibration stops but the weight doesn't leave after a certain time the alarm goes off calling attention to it.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
But that can happen with any solution. People decide to quit using it entirely or they start to ignore it. I won't as I understand the purpose of this alert so for me, it's easy to do a quick check in my vehicle once the reminder pops up. It's just not a reminder I'll choose to ignore as the consequences can be grave.

The only solution that doesn't suffer from this issue is perhaps a tractor beam or a catapult that ensures your child was transported from the vehicle into the place they need to be.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Something else I thought of would be something similar to the angel care baby monitor. Something small you could slide under the seat cover that sensed the weight of the child present and the vibration of the running engine, and if the vibration stops but the weight doesn't leave after a certain time the alarm goes off calling attention to it.
I used the TrueFit IAlert for a while in hopes of reviewing it. The seat has sensors under the cover that can detect motion (of the car), the weight of a child, and the temperature in the car. It's supposed to send an alert to your phone when a child is placed in the seat, and then again if it still senses the weight after the car is no longer in motion. It would send text and/or email alerts to any phones/emails you designated.

In theory, it was AWESOME. In practice, it screwed up all the time. There were so many times it didn't alert me my kid was in the car after I had "left" (controlled circumstances, of course), and many times it alerted me when we were still in the car, but stuck in traffic or something. Once you acknowledge the alert, it's supposed to reset (to 5 or 10 minutes, I forget), but instead it kept reminding me every two minutes. So I was in a traffic jam and had to keep using my phone to tell it that my kid hadn't been left in the car. Worse, because it thought I had left a kid in the car, it alerted my husband, who was in a meeting at the time. Awesome. :thumbsdown:

Because it messed up so often, I would have stopped using it all together, had I planned on continuing to use the seat.

I guess the bottom line is that technology is great, but it can fail, too.

Another way to prevent this from happening is to communicate. If you usually take your kid to daycare but you know your husband will be the next day, mention it to the daycare provider. Then hopefully they can follow-up if the child doesn't show up. If there's a change in routine, someone else can call the "new" person to make sure everything went ok.

Sure, that's not fool-proof at all, but it might prevent some instances.

I still think putting a purse/phone/something you need next to the seat is a best idea.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
Something else I thought of would be something similar to the angel care baby monitor. Something small you could slide under the seat cover that sensed the weight of the child present and the vibration of the running engine, and if the vibration stops but the weight doesn't leave after a certain time the alarm goes off calling attention to it.
See and for me, I would rather check each and every time and have it become habit than constantly worry that the device failed and just didn't alert me. There are already potential failures with my solution, cell battery dead, cell network down, forgotten phone etc. but I know those are very low risk for me from my experience over many years with my phone. As well, I've been using location based reminders for other things for well over a year and have had good luck with them which is why I chose that.

I just threw it out there as an idea that may work for some people. I didn't expect it to be one size fits all. For people with iPhones that are tied to their hip, the app is already built in and doesn't require a purchase of any other device and very little setup. So it's something that could be a start for people and they can move to something else or nothing at a later point.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
But that can happen with any solution. People decide to quit using it entirely or they start to ignore it. I won't as I understand the purpose of this alert so for me, it's easy to do a quick check in my vehicle once the reminder pops up. It's just not a reminder I'll choose to ignore as the consequences can be grave. The only solution that doesn't suffer from this issue is perhaps a tractor beam or a catapult that ensures your child was transported from the vehicle into the place they need to be.
Yeah, but the whole point is that the brain gets into a certain routine. So it's not that you won't ignore the alert because it's really important. It's that you might ignore the alert because you've gotten so used to ignoring it.

Like, I used to have an alert on my phone that reminded me to drink water. It worked great for a few days. But then eh the novelty wore off, and every time the alert came up, I'd ignore it. At first, I'd think, "Oh yeah, I should have some water, but nah." Then later, I got so used to ignoring it that I didn't even associate it with water. It was just "that alert that pops up that I always ignore."

So if people have an alert that they never need, it's possible that eventually make it part of their same routine as usual...and not even register what they're ignoring.

Like I said, though, it certainly can't hurt, so why not?

A better idea might be to set it on the rare occasions you do need it, rather than to have it happen every day.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Is there a way you can set alerts to other people's phones? I think there's a way I can have my phone alert me when DH arrives at a place or something, right? Or a way he can be alerted when I leave a place? Is there a way I can set something to alert HIS phone when he arrives somewhere? Or no?
 

rachelandtyke

Well-known member
Is there a way you can set alerts to other people's phones? I think there's a way I can have my phone alert me when DH arrives at a place or something, right? Or a way he can be alerted when I leave a place? Is there a way I can set something to alert HIS phone when he arrives somewhere? Or no?
I know nothing about iStuff, but if both parents had something, it would be cool if you could set it to alert parent1 when parent2 gets to the daycare or to alert parent2 when parent1 gets to daycare. That's one way to check and be sure the other dropped off/picked up the child, especially if there is a change in routine.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
Yeah, but the whole point is that the brain gets into a certain routine. So it's not that you won't ignore the alert because it's really important. It's that you might ignore the alert because you've gotten so used to ignoring it.
Well that makes no sense to me since I won't get used to ignoring it because I won't ignore it. It's not a "oh ya I remember I dropped them off so I can ignore this today" alert. It's a physical "go check the vehicle" alert or contact my mom and ensure the kids are there. Not to be ignored as the consequences could be grave. Which is different than ignoring drinking water as I'm probably not going to die by not drinking as much water as my phone tells me to.

A better idea might be to set it on the rare occasions you do need it, rather than to have it happen every day.
For us that won't work. Who drops the kids off can change on the fly. As in I'm driving with everyone and it's decided while on our way that I have no time to drop DH and the kids off so we drive to my work and swap drivers and DH drops them off. And some days we are all in one car, some days we have two cars and who had the kids depends on the schedule for the rest of the day. This is exactly why I want to it be set each time we arrive at work. So we can both check each time we arrive because there is no routine or out of the routine, it's ever changing.

Again though, this is what I'm doing for me. Others can modify the idea or not use it all. I just wanted to toss it out there as I've seen people comment they wish something existed and they may not have thought of this idea and if it will work for them.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
Yes with Find a Friends I can set up my phone to alert any of my friends that I have arrived or left a location. We already do that as DH has it set to a let me each time he arrives at my work so I know when to come out and he doesn't have to call or text me. I also having it alert him when I leave my parents house as then he knows I'm on my way home.

For parents with a defined daycare this may work. But my parents house isn't just the daycare so we are there for a billion other reasons that aren't always dropping off a kid. And having my phone alert me that DH showed up there, doesn't help me if I've forgotten the 2 year old in the car at my job and DH was just dropping off the teenager.

But yes it can be done and could work for some and maybe in combo with reminders for others.
 
Alarms are a great idea!

I plan to do something passive as well, like tying a bright ribbon to my door handle to trigger the thought, or have a teddy that I will place in the seat once I remove the child and take to the front when I put the child in the seat. Just other little things that may work for some folks.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
I tried the "put something by the kid" technique, and the only thing I take consistently each day is my phone, but I'd forget to put my phone by her or it needed to be charged so I plugged it in near me, or it was the pocket of my bag. I would have needed a reminder in my phone to tell me to leave it by my kid. LOL

I use a different bag during the week than on weekends, sometimes I also have a lunch bag with me and doesn't matter what bag I have, there's nothing I need in it that would make me miss it immediately after stepping into work. So that's why my phone was what I chose to try putting in the back seat. Many years ago Steve Jobs said something like he wanted to design a phone that people would rather leave behind their wallet than the phone (or something like that) and that's me. ;)

But I can totally see how the technique could work for someone else.
 

teekadog

New member
I think that alert sounds awesome! I would totally make use of that if I needed it. And I'm the type to disable an alarm rather than ignore it. Leaving my phone in the backseat works for me but I know it's not for everyone. It's great that so many people are brainstorming ways to solve this problem.

And bummer about that true fit.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
Techno, I think it's different for you because, like you said, it sounds like you have no exact routine so you're always "on."

I was thinking for someone who almost never has the kids--and therefore has a very set routine--the "ignoring" of the alert would just become part of that routine. Obviously forgetting a kid is different than not drinking water. That wasn't my point. My point was that the ignoring itself became so routine that I didn't even mentally connect it to any kind of activity.

For your situation, the alert wouldn't probably work since things are varied enough to keep it pertinent, you know?
 

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