Save a Baby’s Life – ChildMinder Smart Clip System Review

I reached out to Baby Alert International following yet another report of an unnecessary death of a child left in a hot sweltering vehicle. I had come across The Childminder SoftClip System while reading a review on anther website. My family lives in Miami and it is hot 365 (okay maybe we get 3 cold days) days out of the year. With two babies in the house and myself being the primary caretaker, my biggest fear would be if one of the children was to go out with someone in my family who is not used to having them travel with them. I even worry about myself sometimes because we all know how crazy your day can get with children. Yes, your child should always be your first priority  but sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and can forget.

Child Minder Soft Clip

Baby Alert International was kind enough to send us out The ChildMinder® SoftClip System with Single-Unit Key Ring Alarm Unit. This system is typically for households with only one child (ages 0-6 years) in a car safety seat. Multi-Child units can be purchased for households with more than 1 child.

The Childminder Soft Clip System came with the Smart Clip, Key Ring Alarm Unit and all necessary batteries. The batteries were installed into each respective unit. Installing the clip was a breeze, I simply undid the straps from the back of the car seat, slipped off the safety chest clip and replaced it with the SoftClip, and then secured the straps again on the back of the car seat. View ChildMinder SoftClip Manual and see for yourself how easy it is.

The ChildMinder SoftClip System works using digital wireless technology, has an automatic self-off for battery conservation and a dual low battery indicator system. It is easy to install and is moisture resistant. Best of all it comes with a 1 year unconditional warranty!

 Child Minder Soft Clip 1

I first tested the system out by placing Baby Em’s in her stroller with her car seat attached. I secured the clip into place,and instantly it started beeping. It continued beeping until I activated the system by pressing the center button on the key ring unit, which lets off a short beep to let you know it is ready to go. I stayed inside the house with the key ring alarm unit while my husband took her for a stroll down the hallway. Both the softclip and the key ring unit started to beep within seconds of my husband reaching 15 feet away! I was so excited!

Considering that in some countries the chest clip isn’t even required, and children like the one pictured below have nothing to stop their body from projected forward in the unfortunate case of an accident, I don’t mind swapping out our regular chest clip and replacing it with a Child Minder SoftClip that in essence is going to do the same job, maybe even better because of its unique features.

em6

Upon unfastening the softclip both units beep alerting you that the clip has been unsecured. This is great for those little ones that are smart enough to manipulate and open clips. I do want to make a note here that I feel very secure in saying that I do not believe most children will be able to un-secure the clip as it is chunky and you must grasp it from a certain direction to do so, another added benefit. Most pre-installed safety chest clips are thin and very easy to manipulate for little hands, which poses a true danger when the car is in motion.

child minder soft clip 2

softclip collage child minder

I also found the ChildMinder System to be extremely useful for shopping trips to the mall. Since we still use our stroller with the car seat attached, it reassured me that no one will ever be able to just walk off with my child!

Just as recently as last month another child, a 6 month old baby, died in a car after being accidentally forgotten by a parent that was not used to taking the baby to daycare. This case hit a little closer to home, not only because it occurred in my city, but because the child was the niece of my husband’s coworker. If only they had known about The ChildMinder Smart Clip System.

Just this year alone there has already been 29 hyperthermia deaths of children left or forgotten in cars. Here are some statistics from The Department of Geosciences:

  • Total number of U.S. hyperthermia deaths of children left in cars, 2015: 24
  • Total number of U.S. hyperthermia deaths of children left in cars, 2014:  31
  • Total number of U.S. hyperthermia deaths of children left in cars, 1998-present: 661
  • Average number of U.S. child hyperthermia fatalities per year since 1998: 37

An examination of media reports about the 637 child vehicular hyperthermia deaths for a seventeen year period (1998 through 2014) shows the following circumstances:

  • 53% – child “forgotten” by caregiver (336 Children)
  • 29% – child playing in unattended vehicle (186)
  • 17% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult  (111)
  • 1% – circumstances unknown (4)

Product Description:

The ChildMinder® SoftClip System with Single-Unit Key Ring Alarm Unit is typically for households with only one child (ages 0-6 years) in a car safety seat. (An additional Single-Unit Key Ring Alarm Unit for an alternate caregiver can be purchased separately.

The ChildMinder SoftClip System should greatly reduce the opportunity for a child to be inadvertently left unattended in a motor vehicle while fastened in a child safety seat. The smart clip is automatically deactivated upon unfastening.

  1. The ChildMinder system performs a self-test upon each use to insure its proper functioning.
  2. The ChildMinder system reminds the parent/caregiver with an alarm six seconds after the parent/caregiver has moved more than 15 feet from the child in the child safety seat.
  3. The ChildMinder system even serves to remind the parent/caregiver of the child’s presence even when the parent/caregiver has inadvertently forgotten the key ring until the smart clip is deactivated.
  4. The ChildMinder system installation takes less than three minutes. Simply replace your child’s safety seat chest clip with the ChildMinder system’s smart clip and place the key ring alarm unit on your automotive key ring.
  5. The ChildMinder system will not compromise the integrity your existing child safety seat.

Baby Alert International also carries Multi-Child systems and Toddler/Booster Seat systems as well as additional child safety gear.

A message from the makers of The ChildMinder: Baby Alert International: ProActive Child Safety “…why trust your child’s safety to chance?’

Keep your children safe….research the ChildMinder SoftClip System today!

Disclaimer: Please verify with the manufacturer of your car seat prior to the installation of this product to ensure your warranty will remain valid. You should also verify the safety in the use of this item as a replacement for the original chest clip for your car seat.

Disclosure: Mama’s Mission received the product mentioned above for free for evaluation purposes. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 10 CFR, 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials In Advertising. Photo credit: Mama’s Mission and ChildMinder SoftClip. I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Any and all claims made should be verified by doing your own research and/or checking with the manufacturer.

Mama E

Multitasking mama to 3 living in Miami. Blogging about parenting, lifestyle, cooking and traveling. Covering everything from diapers to dorm rooms. Ask me anything, I've done it all.

Comments (17)

  • It’s a nice idea, but unfortunately will void the warranty of every single carseat that it would be installed on.

    Reply
    • Mama E

      Danielle, you bring up an excellent point. Personally, my car seat manual does not specifically state, or otherwise, that this type of modification could void the warranty. Each person should definitely verify with the manufacturer of their car seat. I personally would still choose to install this product so long as it did not bring about a defect to the car seat or impact her safety. Thank you again for bringing this up.

      Reply
      • Not to sound argumentative, but anything that is not contained in the box or sold by the manufacturer of your seat specifically for use with it is considered an aftermarket product.

        Britax:This warranty does not include damages which arise from negligence, misuse or use not in accordance with the product instruction. The use of non-Britax Child Safety, Inc. covers, inserts, toys, accessories, or tightening devices is not approved by Britax. Their use could cause this restraint to fail Federal Safety Standards or perform worse in a crash. Their use automatically voids the Britax warranty.

        Graco: This limited warranty does not cover claims resulting from misuse, failure to follow the instructions on installation, maintenance and use, abuse, alteration, involvement in an accident, and normal wear and tear.

        DO NOT MODIFY YOUR CHILD
        RESTRAINT or use any accessories or parts supplied by other manufacturers.

        Evenflo: DO NOT attach additional items to this child restraint
        that are not approved by Evenflo. Items not tested with
        the child restraint could injure the child.

        This is just the big three.

        I love the life saving potential of this, but there is no way to know how the replacement clip will perform during an accident, which is a much more likely event. I’d love to see another way to accomplish this that won’t create an alternative safety problem.

        Reply
        • Mama E

          The smart clip, as stated on the manufacturers website, states that it is SGS Certified. SGS is an independent laboratory that tests products. Again, each person should fully do their own research prior to purchasing anything. This is simply my review of this item and my own opinion on it. They do have a pad that senses the weight of a child, but I cannot speak to it as I have not reviewed it. That may be an alternative for your preference.

          Reply
      • Are you sure about that? I’d be very surprised that a car seat manual didn’t say you couldn’t use an aftermarket product. Something like this: “Do not, except as described in this booklet, attempt to disassemble any part of the child seat or change the way the harness or vehicle’s
        seat belts are used” or this: “The use of non-Britax Child Safety, Inc. covers, inserts, toys, accessories, or tightening devices is not approved by Britax. Their use could cause this child seat to fail Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or not perform as intended in a crash.
        Their use automatically voids the Britax warranty”

        Yes, this is from a Britax manual but they pretty much all have similar wording. Do you really want to take a chance with your child’s life?

        Kelley, CPST

        Reply
        • Mama E

          Kelley, The manual states only the following ” Use only the parts or accessories that come with the unit. Do not modify or
          repair any part. I am not arguing the point of voiding the warranty, I agree it could, my manual however does not state that. It did also make mention of not hanging toy bars on the handle bar. Again, it does not however state that any such item would void the warranty. I use a Peg Perego 30-30, if you do find it, please feel free to email it to me at askmama@mamasmission.com. For me the thought that my daughter could be forgotten in the car is a close call at home because of the loss of my husband’s coworkers niece. Again, these are only my opinions and should be taken with a grain of salt.

          Reply
  • Wow a lot of excellent points. I think it’s a good idea as long as you figure out if it voids your car seat warranty.

    Reply
  • I’m just wondering if the clip was tested on impact, I know there’s the 5 point harness but removing the chest clip to replace with this has me a bit concerned if it was never tested on impact how strong is the plastic it’s made out of verses the common plastic use in carseat chest clips some plastic can easely brake/crack how strong does this clip together we are talking about a lot of force being involved in a car accident. if it brakes/cracks it can become a jagged object that could penetrate our child’s chest ect or let alone pull apart leaving no chest support but the child being held in only by the arm and leg straps, I love this idea if it could be verified to be safely test in a crash test i had 2 children who would always undo there chest clip then pull the arm straps off and try to stand up i could not count how many times I had to pull over to put them back over and over being dangeriouse to pull over but worse is not knowing they did it and some one beeping to let you know this could prevent me not knowing but would not prevent them from doing it

    Reply
  • I purchased a Childminder product for my soon to arrive grandchild, only to discover it to be completely unreliable. The concept sounded great,however the implementation is completely inadequate. I tried to get my money back with no success. I would love for it to have worked, but I assure you you will have a false sense of security.

    Reply
    • Mama E

      Daniel, can you tell me a bit a more about your issues with the implementation? I am truly sorry that you had issues with it.

      Reply
  • I love this idea, I think everyone should be made to have one or atleast when they sell the car seats to someone they should give them one
    for the safety and peace of mind for mom and dad.
    @tisonlyme143

    Reply
    • Except that things like this have batteries that fail, parts malfunction and personally, I don’t want something like this to just start beeping when my baby is trying to sleep because the battery is dying or I walk around the car to get one of my other kids.

      Or, what happens when the bag/keys are left in the car?

      Reply
      • Mama E

        Just for clarification, the range for the case would not cause it to go off when you are walking to the other side of your car. Our battery lasted quite a while without a need for changing. I am not sure what your question is in relation to leaving your bag/keys in the car? I would like to answer it, but normally when I leave my car I take my car keys with me, and the alarm should be attached to your key ring.

        Reply
  • Taking the overview, this post is first class

    Reply
  • I completely agree with Danielle, we were told explicitly not to alter or attach anything to our Nuna Pipa car seat, or to attach anything inside of our vehicle that could come unattached during a collision and inadvertently strike our infant. Each car seat manufacturer crash tests its car seat and approved accessories specifically to work a specific way, and there is no way I am going to risk my child’s life by uninstalling a shoulder harness to put another product on my car seat. How would you know if you put it in the correct spot to withstand the G force pressure of a collision and your child wouldn’t be catapulted out of your vehicle or killed on impact? I also think that we should not be falsely comforted that any system can take the place of manually checking the back seat/car before exiting instead of depending on an item that could potentially fail to alert us and result in a child dying in a hot car. I had hopes that this item might offer a secondary warning for cautious parents, but if this product suggests that consumers remove a portion of their car seat in order to install this product, I simply do not agree. Kidsandcars.org probably wouldn’t agree either. As other comments have stated, I don’t think this is entirely about voiding the manufactures warranty, as it is about safety. If my car seat wasn’t crash tested with this item and it’s suggested that I remove the harness that was crash tested, then there is no way I would ever do this. The shoulder harness is to fit in a specific portion of the body, with so many fingers fitting underneath it. I’ve had both of my car seats installed by the chief of the fire department and he was very clear about his directions. There has to be another way to design a system to help protect children from being left in hot cars, that does not require altering the car seat after purchase. If I do not have it in writing from the manufacture, I would never trust attaching another harness to my car seat. Not happening. My child is too important to risk for a $39.99 alteration.

    Reply
  • Also, how do you know it can’t fall apart, the battery comes loose, a screw falls out. With your child rear facing they could swallow a piece and you’d never know because your child is rear facing. If this item isn’t crash tested with each and every car seat, we cannot assume where the pressure points are and what section, piece, part mightbreal on impact which could stab your child in the sternum, face, or arms. The more I think about it, this is simply not a good idea. Most parents do a lot of research before buying a car seat, we did. We spent $900+ on the Nuna Pipa, adapter, and the Mixx2 stroller. The second seat was $450 for the Rava. I simply would not be able to rest at night knowing I was compromising my child’s safety on the off chance that this after market product might beep to remind me to check my child, but could result in serious injury or death because it didn’t hold my child’s weight upon impact. Think about it.

    Reply
  • I noticed that you’ve listed a few websites, I think for statistical data and up to date information on kids and care safety, we should direct people to read the recommendations at KidsandCars.org
    Also, contact your local fire department and the manufacturer before altering your car and baby products in any way. Safety first!!

    Reply

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