Who would have thought that a simple seatbelt device for special-needs kids would garner so much attention?
It all started with Natalie Bell, a mom of five from Victoria, Australia, who wondered what would become of her deaf daughter in the event of a car crash. Her daughter has a cochlear implant, and thus, there are special considerations in an emergency situation, such as should they need to administer an MRI on her.
What began as a simple alert label seatbelt cover (not unlike the medic alert bracelet), which Bell photographed and posted on Facebook, turned into a wholly untapped market.
Bell has started up her own business, called Personalized by Nat, producing the seatbelt covers for various special-needs situations. Her Facebook post went viral with all sorts of suggestions and comments, and she garnered thousands of requests for the simple, yet essential, device.
Rather incredibly, the photograph of her daughter strapped in with a simple sign saying “I am deaf. I have a cochlear implant. No MRI” has racked up well over 200,000 reactions, with over three-quarters of a million shares from other Facebook users.
Bell also posted several variations for different special-needs conditions; one reads, “I have autism. I may resist help.” Others are more personalized, saying, “My name is Shae. I am non verbal [sic], and I have epilepsy.”
Others read, “I have Down syndrome. I may resist help,” and “I have type 1 diabetes. Insulin Dependent.”
The versatile, simple design can easily be fitted to the strap of a backpack, as another photograph of her daughter demonstrates.
Among the tens of thousands of comments, many people recognized not only how this could help others but also themselves. As one woman wrote:
I so need one of these I myself am deaf and wear a cochlear implant was scared to death when I got rear ended and it threw off my implant I couldn’t hear a thing which made matters worse the people looked at me as if I was crazy trying to get them to call someone for me. Finally I found it under the seat. Such a great ideal and I need this.
Meanwhile, there were even emergency responders and police officers who touted the ingenious solution.
“This is an amazing idea! As a cop I wish I could hand these out to anyone who needs them,” wrote one person.
“My husband is part of Fire and Rescue and said that this is a brilliant idea,” another woman added. “Such a valuable piece that provides a lot of information clearly so that personal involved can approach situations with knowledge and care.”
Bell is now busy putting together the thousands of seatbelt-cover special orders that she’s received. They’re going for $12 apiece and 2 for $20. Not only was it a great idea to corner the market, but she’s playing a great role to help out kids just like her own, who might one day find themselves in an emergency situation.
I always wonder what would happen if I was in a car accident with my daughter in the car and I was unable to let the…