Newborn Babies Get Anti-Theft Anklets
There are over 4 million babies born in the United States every year. Out of those 4 million, it’s estimated that between 12 to 18 of them are stolen from the hospital they were born in. It’s an ultra-small percentage of the whole, but it’s a big deal when it happens, so many hospitals are now using a new product to make sure no babies get taken from their maternity ward.
It’s basically an anti-theft device the baby wears around it’s ankle. However, there isn’t just one standard type of device, different hospitals are using different forms of the same idea. For instance, in Norway, all newborn babies are outfitted with a type of anti-theft alarm that consists of a tiny chip embedded in the baby’s ankle bracelet and a matching chip embedded in it’s mothers hospital bracelet. If the two chips are separated by more than a certain distance, the alarm goes off. On top of that, if the baby’s bracelet is removed, the hospital goes into “lockdown” mode, where the elevators and doors all automatically lock – to prevent baby theft.
Some hospitals in Ottawa, Canada outfit their newborn babies with a small GPS locator and alarm device. Their ankle bracelet is designed to flash every three seconds and set off hospital-wide alarms if the baby leaves the ward or if the device is severed.
The US has been doing this for a while now, and most large hospitals here apparently have a system similar to the Norwegian one, where the whole hospital goes into “lockdown” if the baby theft alarm goes off.