For the past week, the nation has been talking about the terrible tragedy in Georgia in which a young toddler died after being left in a hot car. The conversation at the moment is focused on whether or not this particular situation was an accident, but maybe what we should be talking about is how to prevent an incident like this from ever occurring in the first place.
Almost 50 children die every year from being left in a hot car. You can ask any parent of a young child and they will tell you about a heart-stopping moment in which they forgot they had their baby in the car with them. Maybe it was a trip to the grocery store, or to work, or to visit a friend — anytime the situation was altered from the daily routine and the brain clicked in to autopilot upon arrival at the destination. Babies and toddlers under a certain weight and height face the rear of the car when driving, and they also tend to fall asleep in the car. Add a momentary distraction and it's painfully easy to understand how these tragic accidents can occur.
But in a stroke of brilliance, a middle schooler has invented a device that could prevent such tragedies from occurring. When Andrew Pelham was in the fifth grade, he invented the E-Z Baby Saver, a bright neon strap that attaches to the car door and reminds parents to take a look in the backseat before they exit. The best part? The E-Z Baby Saver can be made at home with rubber bands and duct tape.
You find find the step-by-step tutorial to make your own E-Z Baby Saver right here.
Simple, cheap, and powerfully effective. It's no wonder that Pelham's invention won national runner-up in the Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors last summer. Nor is it a shock to learn that the middle schooler has two new inventions in the works. One is an animal-proof camera that National Geographic picked up for its Engineering Exploration Challenge. The other is an origami rainwater collection system that can fold flat to make it easier to transport to disaster-stricken areas that need it.
"Winning the Rubber Band Contest showed me that even a kid can have good ideas," Pelham told the Huffington Post.
Related posts on MNN: