Fifth-Grader Invents Method To Prevent Hot Car Deaths
By Ryan Velez
Every summer, we seem to hear sad stories about children dying in hot cars, and in fact, data reports that this is a growing issue rather than a rare one, with the number of children dying after being left in a hot car tripling in 2016. However, Black Enterprise reports that a child in the fifth-grade has come up with an idea to lower incidences of this tragedy—not bad considering most children at that age are thinking of video games before anything else.
To be fair, Bishop Curry V of Melissa, Texas, has always been interested in building things from creating a home-made catapult and ping pong ball cannon, to thinking of ways to melt ice and snow on roads without salt. However, this latest idea, which is currently in a clay prototype stage, is beginning to make national news.
The idea behind Curry’s invention is to build a car seat or car seat cover that will detect when a child is left inside a hot vehicle. On top of alerting the parents that the child is inside the car, it will also come with technology that will cool the child down until they can be rescued.
Curry’s father, who works for Toyota, told the company about his son’s idea, and the company sent father and son to the Toyota Technical Center in Detroit, where they got the chance to witness safety tests on vehicles. He also had the chance to attend the Center for Child Injury Prevention Conference where he presented his car seat idea to car seat manufacturers. He even had the chance to have a one-on-one chat with the director of engineering and program management for Evenflo, a company that manufactures car seats and child devices.
Making the step from prototype to final product is a complex one for even full-grown adults, but Curry has his father firmly in his corner, who has put together an intellectual patent for the idea and spoken to lawyers about the next step.
“The cool thing about Bishop’s thinking is none of this technology is new,” Curry’s father said. “We have things to alert our phone, we have ways to provide either cooling through a fan or through an air condition system. We have ways to detect weight. So none of it is new, so we feel like the way he’s thinking and combining all these technologies will get to production faster than if it’s something that is just a brand new type of technology.”
As for the younger Curry’s chance to see one of his ideas become reality? “I’d be like, ‘What?'” he said. “I’d probably pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.”