Health Ministry to Fund Tech to Prevent ‘Forgotten Babies’

YERUSHALAYIM -
The scene where a young baby boy was "forgotten" in his father car, in Ashdod on May 30, 2016. Photo by Flash90
The scene where a young baby boy was “forgotten” in his father’s car, in Ashdod, May 30. (Flash90)

Every summer, the news in Israel features stories of children who are forgotten in vehicles – and are found hours later, at death’s door or beyond. To prevent such tragedies, the Health Ministry has announced that it will fund technologies and products that can help prevent such events by reminding parents, bus drivers, and others involved in transporting children to avoid forgetting them.

The program, recently agreed upon by the Health and Finance Ministries, will receive NIS 10 million in funding. In cooperation with the Beterem emergency medical system, the Health Ministry will set up a database of all incidents in which children are forgotten in vehicles, recording all details of the incidents. Using the data, a plan will be drawn up to address how the incidents come about.

The data will also indicate methods for preventing such tragedies, and products that can provide reminders or other technologies to ensure that drivers remove children from vehicles – that fit in with the plan to be implemented – will receive funding. The products, it is hoped, will also remind drivers that they are riding with children, causing them to be more careful on the road.

In Israel each year, 117 children are killed in road accidents, while 190,000 children are treated for injuries due to road incidents. Of them, 24,000 remain hospitalized for at least one night.