The popular navigation app Waze has released a new safety feature that reminds users not to forget their kid, pet or other loved ones in the car before getting out.

The feature, called “Child Reminder,” was made available to the public when Waze released its latest update on app stores for Android and iOS in July 2016.

See original imageThe new feature comes amid concerns over recent child hot car deaths  and countless reports of dogs being rescued from sweltering cars, resulting in broken windows and calls to emergency services.

There have been 26 heat stroke deaths involving children in the U.S. in 2016, and on average there are  nearly 40 child heat stroke fatalities per year in the U.S., according to the Department of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State University in California.

 

“We’re constantly listening to our users’ requests and concerns, as well as paying attention to the news and looking into issues drivers face,” said Waze’s Head of Brand, Julie Mossler.

“Just as drivers sometimes forget to turn off their headlights, they sometimes forget things in the car too,” Mossler told ABC News. “This new feature helps keep people present in the vehicle and gives them an important, possibly life-saving reminder, that drivers sometimes need.”

Like Waze’s other safety features, “Child reminder” is opt-in, Mossler said. The alert can be turned on and off in the app’s “general settings.”

See original imageDrivers who choose to keep the feature on can also customize the alert “to include their child’s name or pet’s name — anything that will get their attention at the end of a drive,” Mossler explained.

She added that the alert will only appear if a driver has entered a destination in Waze and has arrived at that destination.

We suspect that other navigation apps will follow suit with an add-on like this. There are very few entries in the Child-Car Safety app department that have come to market so far, with PreciousCargo and Kars4kids apps seeming to be the only other options and not without a number of negative reviews, albeit many positive as well;  There seem to be more in development, but so far, this simple navigation add-in could tick a few boxes and save a few lives.

We’re all for it! What do you think? What options would you like to see in a child-dog-car safety app?

Saluté