Summer is here, and that means that news is soon to be filled with cases of pets and/or children dying in hot cars. An average of 39 children die every year inside a hot car, and the number rose to 52 back in 2019. That is where Lydia Denton comes in with her brilliant invention. Lydia is a 12-year-old girl from North Carolina.
She decided to do something about these horrifying events and thus ended up creating a car seat device that detects when children have been left in a hot car. The device has helped her to win $20,000 at the CITGO’s Funding Student Challenge. Lydia said, ‘I did some research and saw that it happened a lot and that it wasn’t just neglectful parents. I got really upset and wanted to try and help. At first, I thought about raising money for the families, but that wouldn’t fix the problem. I wanted to invent something that could prevent deaths from happening.’
Lydia wanted to develop a device that would be cost-effective, thus allowing it to reach more people as opposed to the expensive new vehicles that offer smart seat systems. She also wanted her creation to be transferable from one car seat to another car seat, considering that babies do grow quite quickly. She was able to create a prototype of ‘Beat The Heat Car Seat’ and got her invention functioning via a pressure pad that was placed under the car seat cover.
The pressure pad is capable of sensing the weight of more than 5 pounds, thus making it easier for it to determine when a child is sitting there. The system will power itself up and is the monitoring of the car’s temperature. When and if the temperature goes beyond 102 degrees, the seat activates an alarm along with a warning on its display and sends a text to the parent’s phone. If the button is not reset within sixty (60) seconds by a parent, the Arduino sends the car’s location to emergency services.
The device works perfectly, and Lynda has tested the device with her local 911 center as well. Lydia, while taking about CITGO Fueling Education Student Challenge, said, ‘I was so excited. I didn’t think I would win. So many kids invent so many things, and I know that my ideas aren’t always the best.’