According to NBC News, a little over 800 children have died from heat-related illnesses in vehicles that were left unattended, since 1994. An 11-year-old created a device that might help reduce that number considerably.
When Bishop Curry heard that a six-month-old child died when left in a hot car, he sat down and sketched a design that would help alert parents and authorities if the car became too hot, or the child began to suffer.
“I was like, ‘This would be my one-way shot to actually helping people,” Bishop told NBC News. The McKinney, Texas native said the device is meant to attach to a headrest or car seat and, while alerting parents of a dangerous situation, would also blow cold air on the child until help arrived.
He’s hoping to patent the device, called “Oasis,” before the product begins being manufactured. So far, he’s raised $40,000 from a GoFundMe account to help kickstart the project.
His dad is an engineer at Toyota and immediately recognized the promise in his son’s idea. “My thought was, ‘Why isn’t this in stores now?’”
Toyota was sold on the idea, too. They sent Bishop and his dad to Michigan for a safety conference.
The six-month-old who inspired Bishop’s creative output lives not far from his house; Bishop would walk by her house every day to and from school. He’s met with her parents.
“They really supported me,” he said. “They didn’t want anything [like that] to happen to any other families.”
Of the 804 children who have died from heat-related illnesses in cars in the U.S. since 1994, about 55 percent of them occurred when a parent was unaware that the child was in the vehicle.
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