Some say they were distracted, running late for work, or thrown off by a kink in their usual morning routine. Whatever the reason, each year, dozens of parents do what seems unfathomable to many: they accidentally leave their children in a hot car.
When it's 80 degrees outside, relatively mild summer weather, temps inside a car can reach nearly 100 degrees in 10 minutes.
Thirty-one children died of heatstroke in cars in 2014, according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The parents who are guilty of such absentmindedness come from a range of educational and financial backgrounds. According to the nonprofit KidsandCars.org, a doctor, dentist, professor, school principal, veterinarian, and rocket scientist are among those who have forgotten to take their babies out of their car seats. (A rocket scientist, people. Let that sink in for a minute.)
But now, two fathers from Tampa, Fadi Shamma and Jim Friedman, are saying enough is enough. The men,who are neighbors, have invented Sense-A-Life, a device that reminds drivers to take a child out of a car.
"We were tired of hearing all these sad stories and seeing the agony on parents' faces and we decided that this is such a serious problem that could probably be solved with a simple solution," Shamma told Fox 13.
The two-stage device uses sensors. When a child is in the seat and a door opens, a voice alert reminds the driver to take the child out. An alert also goes to his or her phone. If ignored for long enough, a backup alert goes to a second parent or guardian's phone.
The duo have applied for a patent and plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign early next month. They hope to market the device to individuals, car companies and/or car seat manufacturers.
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