Teen Invents Way to Prevent Hot Car Deaths
System tracks parents as they leave the vehicle
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2014 11:18 AM CDT
Chavez demonstrates her invention in this screen shot from YouTube.   (YouTube/KRQE)

(Newser) – An inventor has developed a possible solution to the recurring problem of kids left in hot cars—and she did so before even graduating from high school. Alissa Chavez, 17, came up with the basic idea for her lifesaving contraption for a school science fair, the Washington Post reports. (Yes, she won.) It involves an alarm system warning parents when a child has been left in a car seat, no matter what the temperature. The "Hot Seat," in its latest incarnation, uses a pressure sensor and your car keys.

The system monitors a tracker on your keychain, detecting when you're more than 40 feet away from the car. At that point, it checks the pressure sensor to determine whether there's a child still in the car seat—and if there is, alarms sound. Chavez is now raising money to develop an improved prototype, KOB reports. Meanwhile, she received a Good Samaritan award from the mayor of her hometown, Albuquerque. (One of the latest deaths involved a 10-month-old baby in Kansas.)

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Showing 3 of 83 comments
smitty6398
Oct 19, 2014 12:42 AM CDT
I use a shock collar to keep my dogs within 40' of the house (out of the neighbors' yards). Might be able to adapt that idea to train MA and PA.
LMF1
Oct 18, 2014 9:27 AM CDT
While it's true others have invented devices to try to prevent this tragedy, an idea I came up with this summer is that the car will sense when there is a weight on the back seat and a seat belt is buckled (which is necessary to install a car seat). When the driver turns off the engine and tries to lock the doors, either manually from the driver's door or with an electronic key fob, the doors won't lock until the weight on the back seat is removed. Also, alarms go off. So the driver can't even walk away from the car and lock the doors until the child is removed. Since it is just an idea and I am not an inventor, I hope someone will take this idea, improve upon it, and figure out how to make it work in every car. Just a thought.
Steven Diedesch
Oct 5, 2014 12:33 AM CDT
Anyone who cannot remember if they have left their child in the car alone, should probably not have children.