Bishop Curry is just 10 years old, but this bright young boy could help save thousands of children’s lives. He created a new device that could prevent infants from getting trapped in hot vehicles.
An average of 36 children die each year after being left in a hot car. The tragedies often occur when parents change their routines and forget their baby, who may have fallen asleep, is in the car.
During the summer, cars can get very hot very quickly, and babies and children left in vehicles can easily develop hyperthermia.
Responding To Tragedy
After learning that his neighbor’s 6-month-old infant died from being left in a hot car, Bishop got to work on a life-saving device called the Oasis that may be able to prevent tragedies like this in the future.
The Oasis is a car seat cover connected to a device that detects rising temperatures. It responds by emitting cool air, while simultaneously using an antenna to send a signal to parents and authorities.
“It kind of came in my head,” Bishop told HuffPost of his device.
At the moment, Bishop only has a 3D clay model of the device, but thanks to a GoFundMe campaign launched in January by his father Bishop Curry IV, the Oasis will hopefully become a reality.
The device “will detect when a child has been left inside a hot vehicle and alert parents to the child’s situations,” the senior Curry wrote on the GoFundMe page. “The device will also come with the technology to help cool down the child while he or she waits to be rescued.”
Attorneys advised the family that they’d need to raise a minimum of $20,000 for prototyping, manufacturing and patenting fees for the device. The GoFundMe campaign has already exceeded its initial goal of $20,000. As of June 27, the campaign had raised almost $31,000, and had a patent pending.
As the Curry family continues to raise donations, the 5th grader is learning as much as he can about hot cars. When Toyota, Bishop Curry IV’s employer, heard about the device, they sent father and son to the Toyota Technical Center in Detroit, where they both got the opportunity to witness safety tests on vehicles.
Now that’s pretty cool!
Know The Risks
Since 1990, more than 800 children have died after being left in a hot car. But these tragic incidents don’t always come from neglect or cruelty—sometimes they really are an accident or a misjudgment.
Children are at a special risk for heatstroke in cars because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, so even just a quick trip into Walgreens can have devastating results. Here’s what you need to know to keep your kids safe.
1. It Doesn’t Have To Be Hot.
Most of us know that it’s a terrible idea to leave your child in the car on a 90-degree day, but kids have suffered heatstroke in cars on days when the temperature has been as low as 60 degrees, according to KidsAndCars.org. And even on milder days in a car with the windows cracked, the temperature inside the car can skyrocket to 125 degrees in minutes. A child dies when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2. Remember To A-C-T
The Safe Kids Worldwide organization recommends the “A-C-T” approach to preventing heatstrokes in children during the summer. This simple pneumonic device can help you—or someone else—avoid a life-threatening situation.
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel wants you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
3. Look Before You Lock.
With toddlers and older kids, it’s crucial that you make sure all the doors are locked if your car stays in the garage or the driveway. You don’t want anyone climbing into a hot car to play and getting stuck in there.
In that same vein, before you leave your car in a parking lot or elsewhere, make a habit of looking into the backseat before you walk away. Safercar.gov recommends putting a stuffed animal or visual cue in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and moving it into the front seat when your child is buckled in. This will help keep you alert on days when you’re exhausted or your routine has changed significantly, which can throw you off.
4. Bring Your Kids With You.
When in doubt, make the decision to take your kids with you wherever you are going. Even if you think a trip to a store will be lightning-fast, any kind of unforeseen event could end up delaying you. Eighty percent of the temperature increase inside a car happens in the first 10 minutes. It gets hot in there—and fast. Better to be safe and bring your kids inside with you.