A fifth-grader in Texas has sent his invention to the patent office in the hopes of preventing kids from dying in hot cars.
With about 37 kids dying in hot cars each year, this horrific and preventable accident has received major attention in recent years. Unfortunately, despite increased awareness, parents are still forgetting about their babies and toddlers in the backseat, a catastrophic mistake in the hot summer months.
After hearing about the death of a neighbor's baby in a hot car, 11-year-old Bishop Curry V decided to do something about it. The Texas fifth-grader enjoys inventing things—he's previously crafted a home-made catapult and ping pong ball cannon and devised ways to melt ice and snow on roads without using salt—so he put his skills into creating a clay prototype of machine that would start to blow cold air when it senses the car is getting too hot and alert local authorities and the child's parents to send rescue.
Since his dad, Bishop Curry IV, launched a GoFundMe page five months ago, the kid inventor has received almost $30,000 in donations, which allowed to pay for lawyers to work on his patent application. The documentation for the "Oasis" is currently with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Once the patent offices hopefully gives approval, which will be within the year, he will be able to him to further develop a prototype, find a manufacturer, and begin production to get the device to parents. "The great thing about it is, this device uses technologies that already exist, so we don't think the development will take a long time," Bishop IV told Parents.com "Hopefully, in the next 18 to 24 months [the Oasis] will be available for purchase."
- RELATED: What E.R. Doctors Wish You Knew
The younger Bishop has also had some pretty amazing experiences as a result of his invention. His father, who works at Toyota, told the company about his son's device and they sent the father and son to the Toyota Technical Center in Detroit, where they watched vehicle safety tests. Bishop V also presented the Oasis to car seat manufacturers at the 2016 Center for Child Injury Prevention Conference, where he got a one-on-one conversation with the director of engineering and program management for Evenflo.
Of course, dad is super impressed with his son, who unsurprisingly hopes to pursue a career in engineering and inventing.. "He's amazing," Bishop IV told Parents.com. "He has so many great ideas. When he first came to me with this idea and a drawing on a piece of paper, I was amazed, but at the same time, it's just part of what he does. We're just trying to support him and we're super proud of him."
- Want the latest parenting news? Sign up for our Parents Daily newsletter
Though Bishop V is impatient at times with how long it is taking to get the Oasis made, his dad reminds him that all the awareness he has generated about this problem is already helping parents remember to check the backseat for kids in carseats. "We hope this attention is just another reminder to be cautious," Bishop IV says.