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)
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(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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