An 11-year old Texas boy is being hailed as a child genius for his invention that may one day soon help save the lives of children who have been left in hot cars.
According to CBS News, Bishop Curry, who lives with his family in McKinney, Texas, invented a special car fan after hearing about a 6-month-old baby who died after being left in a hot vehicle last year.
“It made him sad, and at that point, the wheels started turning in his mind,” Bishop’s father, Bishop Curry IV, told CBS News. “He came up with a way to prevent it from happening.”
“We live in Texas where hot car deaths are far too common,” Mr. Curry says on a fundraising page for his son on GoFundMe.com. “Bishop already has a provisional patent and a 3D model of his invention.”
The fan, which Bishop calls “Oasis,” will contain a thermostat that turns the fan on when the air in the car reaches a certain temperature. The fan also will be equipped with GPS technology that detects when the vehicle has come to a stop and a detector that determines if there is a child present.
“If all of those things are taking place it blows cold air on the child through an internal cooling system.
When the fan is activated, a built-in antenna will use built-in Wi-Fi and antenna to contact the child’s parents. If the parents don’t respond, the device will send an alert to local authorities. The device is intended to buy the child some time until help arrives.
Mr. Curry, an engineer at Toyota, pitched the idea to his company, which was so impressed that it sent him and his son to the Center for Child Injury Prevention Conference, where Bishop presented his idea to car seat manufacturers.
Several manufacturers showed interest in the product, but Mr. Curry says no they have not yet made a decision. The fan would need to undergo further development and testing before it can be made commercially available.
To date, the Currys have received more than $45,000 in donations through the GoFundMe site. All of the donations will be applied to the development of the fan and legal expenses, Mr. Curry says.
Nearly 40 children die every year in the U.S. because they are left in hot cars, according to the safety organization Kids and Cars. Since 1994, 804 children have died from car-related heat illnesses in the U.S.
On July 2, a 7-week-old infant was found dead inside a parked van in Okaloosa County, Florida, after having been there for about eight hours.
According to Regional News Network, family members called 911 after finding the baby inside the van at the family’s home in Mary Esther, Florida. The family told the Sheriff’s Department that they didn’t realize the baby’s mother had left the baby in the van after church Sunday about 12:45 p.m. The incident remains under investigation.