Child invents device to help prevent hot car deaths
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Andrew Pelham is passionate about building, inventing and entering contests just for fun.
His latest device - the EZ Baby Saver - is the result of a challenge by the University of Akron, requiring kids to invent something primarily made of rubber bands.
"We wanted him to create a product that he could be proud of, that we thought would be a difference-maker," said Andrew's father, Shuler.
Andrew remembered hearing the story of Stephanie Gray, who accidentally left her 10-month-old baby in the back of the family's van last summer in Tennessee. Joel Gray died that afternoon of heat stroke.
Joel wasn't the only child to die because of such an accident. A report released this week shows 19 children in the U.S. so far this year have died as a result of being left in a hot car. One was rescued this week in Arkansas.
Andrew is the oldest of four children - two still in car seats. The EZ Baby Saver is something his family regularly uses to keep the same thing from happening to them.
One end of the rubber band device hooks on to the back of the driver's seat. The other end attaches to the driver's side door, preventing the driver from getting out without thinking about what they may be leaving in the car - namely children in back-seat car seats.
Andrew won runner-up in the University of Akron's nationwide contest but he said that he's always improving the prototype because he has a different way to gauge success.
He said, "I just hope people can use my design in the real world, soon, because I just want to save one life and then I can say my idea was successful."