Fifth grader wants to stop hot car deaths with his new invention

June 29, 2017 1:46 pm Last Updated: June 29, 2017 1:46 pm

A young inventor has a device that could save children’s lives—and is looking for the funding to make it happen.

It’s summer, and with the rising temperatures comes the rise of tragic, fatal events: hot car deaths. When young children are left unattended in a closed, non-air conditioned car, they can die from heat stroke.

Texas in particular has had notable casualties from this phenomenon. Just recently, The New York Times reported that two toddlers had died in Texas after being left in the car for 15 hours.

It’s a scary thing, and other than relying on parents paying attention to their children, there is no safety precaution in place to prevent hot car deaths.

But one inventor is looking to put a stop to that with his new device.

The inventor? Bishop Curry Jr., a fifth grade student.

A resident of Melissa, Texas, Bishop is no stranger to the plight of hot car deaths.

Last summer, he noticed a string of local hot car deaths, one after the other, according to The Anna-Melissa Tribune. He became especially distraught when one of the victims lived right down the road from him: a 6-month-old girl named Fern, who was left in a car for four hours.

An enthusiastic builder and inventor, whose creations include a “home-made catapult and ping pong ball cannon,”  and “ways to melt ice and snow on roads without using salt,” Bishop got to work on an idea: A specialized car seat, with two built-in safety features to prevent hot car deaths.

( Bishop B. Curry / GoFundMe)


One is a mobile alert system that will notify the parents if their child is left in a hot car.

The other is a cooling mechanism, to keep the child safe while they wait for rescue. Bishop says his initial idea was a car seat cover with three attached fans, but he is also working on linking the seat with the car’s air conditioning system.

So far, Bishop has created a clay prototype he calls Oasis.

But to really get it off the ground, Bishop’s family set up a GoFundMe page, to help pay for the legal fees involved with patenting the invention and creating a prototype. And people came through: as of this writing, they have more than doubled their initial goal with nearly $42,000.

And Bishop has had luck in getting his idea to the right people. He and his father were sent by Toyota to the Toyota Technical Center in Detroit to attend a safety conference, where Bishop spoke to the director of engineering and program management for Evenflo, who manufactures car seats.

He also pitched his invention to car seat manufacturers at the Center for Child Injury Prevention Conference.

It’s a remarkable story.

For a kid that young to be able to invent new ideas and create prototypes is impressive on its own, but the fact that he’s doing it for such a noble cause and seeking to curb a tragic mortality rate is truly inspiring.

Hopefully Bishop’s invention takes off, and it is able to save many lives.

You can visit Bishop’s GoFundMe page to contribute to the project.