New device keeps young kids safe in the car
Feb 09,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Angelguard Prevents Young Children From Accidentally Opening Seat Belt; One in Three Parents Report Children Have Opened Seat Belt Release Without Parent's Knowledge

As National Child Passenger Safety Week begins Feb. 11, an innovative product is being introduced to help parents keep their young children properly secured in car safety seats. The new item, Angelguard, prevents young children from accidentally opening the seat belt release, rendering the car safety seat useless.

Most parents would be surprised at how often young children manage to unlock the seat belt latch that is supposed to keep them safe and secure. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of parents said their child had opened the seat belt release once, and many reported it as a frequent occurrence.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages three and up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In a crash, a child can be thrown around the back seat of the car, or even into the front seat, causing severe injuries or even death. If not secured, even an empty safety seat may become a dangerous missile inside the car in a crash.

After discovering her three-year old daughter had unfastened her seat belt while in the car, Angelguard inventor Patricia Mandarino mentioned it to friends. "I was surprised to learn that almost every parent I know reported a similar incident," she said. "I looked in stores and online, but couldn't find any product designed to prevent a child from opening his or her seat belt."

The Florida mother spent a year developing Angelguard, which is simple yet effective, and easy to use. Molded from sturdy plastic, the patented product slips into place to cover the seat belt release button. While fast and easy for an adult to use, the device makes it very difficult for a child to accidentally or intentionally open the seat belt release.