Bishop Curry V was inspired to create the “Oasis” when a baby in his neighborhood died last summer after being left in a car.
A young Texas boy has invented something that every parent could use: a device to prevent infant hot car deaths.
Bishop Curry V is a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Melissa Ridge Intermediate School. He’s also the son of Bishop IV, an operational excellence manager and process engineer who works at Toyota Financial Services in Plano, Texas. Bishop’s dad knows better than most how cars work when left in direct heat and understands how infants can unknowingly be left behind in their parents’ vehicles. “Sometimes babies fall asleep and they’re really quiet, so if you’re rushing home from work or you’re rushing to the grocery store, I could see how somebody could forget,” Curry IV told NBC.
The boy’s device is currently in the design stage – he has a clay prototype of it built – and already has a provisional patent. His invention would work by detecting whether a child was left in the car, then blowing cold air on the baby to prevent the child from overheating until the parents and/or authorities arrived. It attaches to a car seat (or an actual seat), and it also alerts police and parents by text that a child is trapped. Bishop calls it the “Oasis” and he and his family have already traveled to the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies’ annual conference in Michigan to present the idea.
Bishop explained to his local NBC news station that he was driven to invent a solution after he heard about a baby dying in a hot minivan last year, just outside a home in Melissa, Texas. The Curry family resides in nearby McKinney.
The infant’s death literally and figuratively hit close to home for Bishop, who has a 1-year-old sister of his own. “I heard about babies dying in car seats and they could have grown up to be somebody important,” the middle-schooler told Toyota, who was informed of the invention by Bishop’s proud dad. “It makes me pretty upset.” The Curry family has also set up a GoFundMe page to raise the money needed to get Bishop’s invention patented and move into the manufacturing stage.
Each year, approximately 37 children die (on average) of heat-related deaths after being left inside vehicles. It’s a serious problem and research has shown that it can happen to any parent – it’s not just an issue for so-called “forgetful” moms and dads. With Toyota’s involvement, hopefully Bishop’s device (or one like it) will become standard issue for any parent of young children.