Every summer the news is peppered with instances of babies left to die in hot cars. One young inventor may have found a life-saving solution.
When he was just ten years old, Bishop Curry V of McKinney, Texas heard the news that Fern, a six-month-old baby from his neighborhood, had died after her father left her in a hot car. Hours later, he came up with the prototype of a device that could prevent future deaths. He calls it “Oasis.”
Oasis automatically activates a fan, which is placed in a headrest facing a child’s car seat. The device turns on when the inside of the car reaches a certain temperature, according to a CBS News report. Using GPS technology, the device detects when the vehicle isn’t moving and then detects if there’s a child in the car seat. If the car starts heating up while a child is there, Oasis uses an internal cooling system to blow cold air on the child.
And that’s not all — because it has an antenna and can connect to Wi-Fi, once the fan is activated, the child’s parents or caretakers will be alerted, and if they don’t respond, the police will be called. GPS would provide the car’s location to authorities.
Curry, now 11 years old, is a young inventor who comes up with at least one idea for a new invention every week, according to him and his father, Bishop Curry IV, who is an engineer at Toyota Financial Services in Plano, Texas.
“In Texas, cars are like ovens,” said Curry, noting that he and his family were deeply affected by the baby’s death and drive past her family’s house every day. Her father has since been charged with manslaughter. “I don’t think any parent intentionally does this. It’s a product of a busy life, but a life was lost.”
Bishop has a baby sister himself and was inspired by Fern’s death to present his invention to Chuck Gulash, senior executive engineer at Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) in Michigan.
“Every time I came home from work, Bishop would ask me if Toyota was going to build his car seat,” Curry said.
Gulash pitched Oasis to his contact at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which has a child injury prevention group that addresses car seat safety. Bishop and his father were then asked to attend the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies’ annual conference Plymouth, Mich., in November of 2016.
“When I told my son, he was excited about the fact this invention could potentially save lives,” says Curry, noting that Oasis has been patented. “We’re excited about this exposure and hope it takes off. We’re also thankful for Toyota, Chuck and his connections in Philadelphia.”
In January, Curry created a GoFundMe page for Oasis, which has so far raised more than $42,000.
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