Technology aims to stop hot car deaths

heat apps video

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Just Wednesday another child died because of being in a hot car.   The 3-year-old boy climbed into the car near Los Angeles and couldn't get out.  That makes 19 deaths so far this year, deaths that could have been prevented.

That's why ordinary people, even a teenager are inventing new technology to remind people of what's in the back of their car before it's too late.

"It helps that I only have one door to get in and out of," said Bermuda Dunes resident Trent Gessel. 

Gessel says as a parent you always have to be alert. 

"Very neurotic always checking my mirror we had little mirrors that you could look from my review back into the other mirror to make sure you could always see them, it was very scary at first," said Gessel.

"I make sure I look in the car and in the back to make sure that they are all out and then I look in my review mirror also to make sure there is nobody left in the car," said Marci Cuttrell, who is visiting the Desert with her family.

"I don't understand how you can leave your children in the back seat, they are the most precious things they have in life," said Indio parent Crystal Aragon.

But it does happen, on average about 38 times a year. 

"With our fast pace lives and trying to take care of children we tend to forget that they are sitting in the backseat," said CAL FIRE Caption Scott Visyak.  

Even if it's 80 degrees and the car is parked in the shade, safety advocates say a baby has little as 10 minutes before it gets too hot to survive.

"It's important that we set reminders out to ourselves that we do have a child in the back seat," said Visyak.

"Precious Cargo" is one of several startup technologies that can alert parents.   The $.99 smartphone app pairs with bluetooth to send a message that a child is on-board when the car stops.  

"If you're talking on the phone, that's one of the number one distractions for parents, it comes through your earpiece so you hear it while you're on your conversation.  if your phone's on silent it still comes on," said Precious Cargo developer Kimberly Johnston.

A Florida Sheriff's Office created it's own app called SafeKids Alert.  It will set off an alarm on your phone if the car hasn't moved for more than ten minutes. 

A teen in New Mexico is raising money for an alarm system she invented that senses if a child is in a car seat when you walk away.  Click here for more information.

"I don't think its necessary for the most part put your phone back there, your purse back there, something that you always remember to get off the car with you," said Aragon.

"I would still look in my car, apps don't always work in certain area, so always look in your car to make sure that they are all out, even the dogs if you have a cat too," said Cuttrell.

There is also a push for auto makers to include warnings into your car, much like the alert that goes off, if you leave your lights on, or forget your seat belt. 

The bottom line is many parents think this will never happen to them until it does. 

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