Reporting Michelle Roberts
BOSTON (CBS) – Chances are when a smoke detector goes off, it gets your attention. But research shows that isn’t always the case with children.
Amee Calaway agreed to a test to see if her three boys would wake up from a sound sleep when a traditional smoke detector went off. She waited for them to the jump out of bed, but they slept right through it.
“I was sick to my stomach,” she said, as she pondered what would have happened had there been a real fire.
The test was repeated with the “Worry Free Voice Activated Alarm.” This one has a prerecorded voice which sends out an alert in an emergency.
Again, the boys slept right through the alarm.
Dr. Al Karan, a pediatrician, isn’t surprised children sleep through alarms. “Children go into a very deep phase of sleep where either they hear it and ignore it, or they just don’t hear it at all,” he says.
One study found only 14 children between the ages of 6-12 years old woke up to a traditional tone alarm. Twenty three woke up to another type of alarm. It is one that the parent actually records the emergency message, telling the children to get up.
Experts say this can be a very effective way to get your children out of harm’s way, but that it isn’t a guarantee. Dr. Karam added, “The take home message is, if your alarm goes off, go get your kid.”
We were unable to find a recordable smoke detector in a store, but did purchase one thru www.amazon.com.