Three children have died in Israel so far this summer because they were accidentally left in hot cars by harried parents who forgot they were there.
But while the Knesset has convened intensive meetings over how to stop the tragic phenomenon from happening again, an 11-year-old boy in the United States is already way ahead of them.
Andrew Pelham has created a device he calls the E-Z Baby Saver that prevents parents from accidentally leaving babies inside hot vehicles.
The device, invented as an entry for the science and engineering division of the University of Akron’s 2013 Rubber Band Contest, won a $500 runner-up award. The competition asked young inventors in grades 5 through 8 to create something using mostly rubber bands.
The colorful neon-bright device created by the young Brentwood, Tennessee resident attaches at one end to the back of the driver’s seat, either on the head rest or a handle of the baby seat. After locking in the baby, and then closing his or her own car door, the driver then stretches the device across the driver’s seat door and hooks it on the handle.
It is impossible to leave the car without encountering the neon-bright reminder that there is something important in the back seat.
"It can happen to anyone"
According to the U.S.-based nonprofit KidsandCars.org organization, an average of 38 children per year die tragically from heat-related deaths due to being trapped inside cars.
“In well over 50 percent of these cases, the person responsible for the child’s death unknowingly left them in the vehicle,” the organization said in a statement on its site, urging parents not to be complacent
“It happens to the most loving, protective parents.... It can happen to anyone.”
The young inventor said in a statement on his own website that a local family in his town had lost their baby in a hot car a year ago.
“I couldn’t get that story out of my mind,” he wrote.
“You can make your own EZ Baby Saver with rubber bands and duct tape!” young Pelham says on his own website. “It’s a cheap, simple reminder that could save the life of a child.... Using it properly is up to you!”
Pelham's ite also offers links for free instructions, and a video tutorial in how to create one’s own EZ Baby Saver.