Do Kids Really Sleep Through Smoke Detector Alarms?
What Kids Don't HEAR could KILL Them
If you have ever heard the smoke alarm going off, then you know it is an extremely loud, irritating noise that is not easily ignored. You may have even been jolted out of a deep sleep by the piercing sound only to find that you needed to replace the batteries. No way anyone could sleep through that racket, right? Apparently not.
According to some researchers, kids don't seem all that likely to wake up from smoke alarms or loud unfamiliar noises in general. In fact, they have done testing to establish exactly what they do and do not respond to and why. The results were surprising and disturbing at the same time.
Items to Keep Your Kids Safe
What Do The Studies Show?
In an effort to identify a more effective smoke alarm for children, researchers compared a personalized parent -voice smoke alarm with a conventional residential tone smoke alarm, both with 100 db sound level. The comparison was not only with respect to their ability to awaken children from stage 4 sleep, but also to how well they responded once awake.
Twenty-four children, 6 to 12 years old, were trained how to perform a simulated self-rescue escape procedure when they heard a smoke alarm. Then each child's mother recorded a voice alarm message, "First name! First name! Wake up! Get out of bed! Leave the room!" For each child, either the voice or tone smoke alarm was randomly selected and triggered during the first cycle of stage 4 sleep,and then the other alarm was triggered during the second cycle of stage 4 sleep. What were the results?
- Twenty-three (96%) of the 24 subjects awakened to the parent voice alarm compared with 14 (58%) to the tone alarm.
- Twenty (83%)of the subjects in the parent voice alarm group successfully performed the escape procedure within 5 minutes of alarm onset compared with 9 (38%) in the tone alarm group.
- The median time to awaken was 20 seconds in the voice alarm group compared with 3 minutes in the tone alarm group.
- The median time to escape was 38 seconds in the voice alarm group compared with the maximum allowed 5 minutes in the tone alarm group.
The conclusion: The personalized parent voice smoke alarm at 100 dB successfully awakened 96% of children 6- to 12-years-old from stage 4 sleep with 83% successfully performing a simulated self-rescue escape procedure, significantly outperforming the 100-dB conventional residential tone smoke alarm.
This is may seem like just a dry study full of facts and figures, but seeing the evidence for yourself is irrefutable. Watch the short news clip before you make your judgment.
Parents MUST see this video!
I wouldn't want to live without any of these faces....Who could you live without?
Make A Plan
Fire experts say survivability greatly decreases once three minutes has passed. Why is this? Because house fires can double in size every 20 seconds. So you think about a wastebasket fire, or a fire in the kitchen, the fact that it doubles in size every 20-30 seconds -- to fill a room is really just a two to three minute process. What if the fire starts close to or even in your child's room? There is no time to waste in not only getting your kids to wake up, but also in getting them to respond to the danger. Fire education experts say it is very important for parents to know what their own children would do in the event of a fire.
- They first suggest getting children familiar with how the alarm sounds.
- Then, talk to the kids about what the family would do in the event of a fire.
- Families should develop a plan together, keeping in mind the smoke alarm might not wake everyone, and then practice the plan as a family.
- It is also important to practice at night.
The other thing about practicing with the entire family, it really lets your children know that you're taking it seriously, that it's not something you're saying, "Well if this ever happens, here's what you do, now we're done talking." Once you do the initial fire safety talk, don't think its over. Take these further steps to protect your family:
Do the drill. Have a fire escape plan; practice twice a year.
Plan for search and rescue. In the event of a fire, alert all children and be prepared to help them escape. Check beds and hiding places. Practice assisting or carrying kids outside.
Maintain alarms so you'll wake up. Test monthly; change batteries annually. Have at least one 85-decibel alarm on each floor and outside all sleeping areas.
We may not be able to protect our kids from every danger they may face in the world, but we don't want to be negligent when there IS something we can do to help keep them safe.