Could This Teen's Invention Prevent More Hot Car Deaths?
byKaitlin StanfordJul 23, 2014
The conversation swirling around hot car deaths hasn't been far from any parent's mind this summer. But it also hasn't been far from the mind of one dedicated teen, whose concern about the risks led her to invent a potentially life-saving device.
It's called the "Hot Seat" and its clever inventor is high school senior Alissa Chavez, who believes it's the answer we've all been waiting for. And so do a lot of others — the teen was even honored by the city of Albuquerque for her efforts.
When the Hot Seat is placed in a child's car seat, the small padded device monitors the seat's temperature throughout the day. If the car seat is overheating and the device senses a child is still in it, parents will get an alert through an app on their phone and also on a keychain that comes with the device, to ensure they hear it no matter where they are. The blaring alarm that goes off is impossible to miss, too — something Chavez took extra care with.
"[It's] loud enough to grab people's attention around the vehicle, as well as remind the parent on their key fob or their cell phone," explained Chavez, who recently showed off the device for the local news.
"Alissa's work is remarkable and inspirational," said Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry. "I'm so proud of this young entrepreneur and her work to improve the lives and prevent tragedies. Her heartfelt invention is the exact mentality we’re trying to encourage and foster in our city; identifying a need and filling it with an entrepreneurial solution."
Still, Alissa's invention has a long way to go. Despite earning a patent, a lot of funding is still needed to get it all off the ground. The young inventor even started an Indiegogo campaign to get it out on the market as soon as possible.
Considering 44 babies died of heat exhaustion just last year, the invention could make a big difference. And to think, this innovative teen first dreamt up the idea when she was just an 8th grader.