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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Each year, dozens of children across the country die after being left in hot cars.

That’s prompted several carmakers to create potentially backseat alarms that some argue could be as life-saving as a seatbelt.

The group “Kids and Cars” says so far this year 36 children have died after being forgotten in vehicles with temperatures reaching into the high 90s.

“That’s absolutely heartbreaking,” said Elsa Foley with Nissan.

Foley developed Nissan’s new rear door alert system. It monitors if a back door is opened before driving and notifies the driver is the rear door is not re-opened after parking – in two different ways.

The first alert is a light on the dashboard. A few seconds later the next alert happens, the horn honks multiple times.

“That’s what calls your attention back to say maybe I forgot something,” said Foley.

General Motors already has a back seat reminder available in several of its vehicles. Nissan is trying out its new alert in the 2018 Pathfinders.

“To provide one more thing that can potentially help our customers. It’s not a solution but it’s I think a step in the right direction,” said Foley.

Child advocates say these new alerts are a critical step toward saving lives.


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