An Irish mum has created a must-have product for keeping kids safe around cars
I know I am not alone in finding it stressful keeping kids safe when getting in and out of the car on busy streets or carparks.
When trying to unfold the buggy or get shopping bags out of the boot, I always feel like I need to keep the kids inside the car until I can let them out, fearing that they may skip out into the street or in front of a car the second I take my eyes of them.
But now Dublin mum Jean McNamara has created a product that I just know is going to make my life a whole lot easier – and safer for the kids.
Say hello to Hands On Magnets, an innovative new product that help to keep kids in a safe spot where you want them, away from the dangers of moving cars. Kids stay still, safe and in sight, and parents are less stressed. It’s win-win.
How the work is so simple, and yet really clever:
Just pop these bright and fun magnets onto the side of the car once you park. These magnets give kids a place to wait while parents unload bags, buggies or other kids from the car. Kids press their hand against the magnet, and wait in a safe spot. They quickly develop the “Hands On Habit”, and learn to stay in a safe spot, without wandering out in front of cars.
McNamara, who herself is a busy mum of three young boys, did extensive research on the topic of child road safety, and has learned first hand how tricky it can be for parents to make sure their kids are safe around cars and in busy carparks.
"In the United States alone, 50 children are backed-over in car parks and driveways every week," she explains. "And With SUVs now accounting for 40% of new car sales in Ireland, visibility of children is getting ever more difficult for drivers."
So if your kids are prone to wandering away from the car once you unload them too, these magnets will be a godsend.
“Every time I was loading my kids in and out of the car, I found myself at full stretch, trying to use every limb to keep the kids from bolting out into the path of moving cars," the mum-of-three explains. "I felt there had to be a better way - especially given this is a challenge that faces parents and care givers on a daily basis. That’s when I came up with Hands On Magnets."
Giving parents a helping hand, the beauty of the Hands On Magnets is that you can pop the magnet onto any area of the car - meaning you can decide where you want the kids to wait, based on where and how you have parked.
"I approached creating Hands On Magnets with kids in mind. I know only too well from experience, that if your kids aren’t interested or engaged in something - they won’t do it. Given that, Hands On Magnets are developed around two little characters, Holly and Harry Hands On. Waiting in a safe spot with Holly and Harry just becomes part of kids’ daily routines. By starting the Hands On Habit at a young age, safe behaviour around cars becomes second nature to kids. They develop a habit around Hands On, just like the Safe Cross Code when crossing the road."
Studies have shown that because of their immature visual perception, children under the age of twelve can have difficulty gauging the speed and distance of an oncoming vehicle and therefore how quickly it will reach them.
"This can sometimes be why kids dart out in front of a car on the road or in car parks," McNamara explains. "Add to this risk, “Inattentional Blindness” - which is very common in children. This is when a person does not see something, because they are distracted with something else - which is really common with kids. We’ve all walked into a room and spoken to a child who is watching TV - only to realise they don’t even know you’re there."
Hands On Magnets are available online from www.MamaSmartz.com and from Giddy Studios in the Dundrum Town Centre.