Dog Days of Summer
A few summers ago, during an afternoon when the temperatures were hovering in the low 90s, I was walking to a parking lot behind the YMCA, where I had just finished a workout. Before I got to my car, I was confronted by two men, one holding a baseball bat. They pointed to an SUV and, accusingly, asked me if it was my car. I told them it wasn’t and asked what the problem was. One of the men said, “Look for yourself.” Inside the car, with its windows totally rolled up, I saw a Boxer. He was alert and active, but drooling profusely, probably dehydrating from the effects of the heat. One of the men had asked the staff at the Y to make a general announcement regarding the situation, with no results. I asked if either of them had asked at the nearby Dunkin Doughnuts, which was mobbed. Neither had, so I hustled over there but had no success. I then called 911 and was told that a police officer was already on the way.
I went back to the two men and suggested they let the police break into the car legally. I got into my car and, as I was heading out of the parking lot, saw not one but two police cars coming to the rescue. One lucky dog. Hopefully his owners learned their lesson.
This experience leads me to the following news story:
11-year old boy invents device to prevent hot car deaths
DALLAS – The news was on, and it was an all-too-familiar story for North Texas in the summertime.
A father had accidentally left his baby daughter in the back of a van, only to find her lifeless body hours later.
Bishop Curry V, 11, was watching the news that night with his family. The baby who died was from his small town, Melissa, Texas, and she was about the same age as Curry's baby sister.
His mother, Tia Curry, told Fox New what happened next.
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"He said, ‘Well, somebody has to do something about this...’ and I told him: ‘Why don't you go do something about it?’"
What could an 11-year-old do? Turns out, plenty. But Bishop is no ordinary 11-year-old.
Bishop Curry V, 11, got the idea for the device by watching the news and seeing a report about a baby who died in a hot car. (Fox News)
His father is an engineer, his mom is a teacher, and Bishop, from an early age, showed an interest in creating things. He carries a journal with him to jot down ideas. That night, about a year ago, he sketched out a car seat and started thinking. After the sketch, Curry worked with his dad to build a prototype, and another, and then two more.
He ended up creating a device to prevent hot car deaths. Once the device detects movement, from a baby or pet locked in, a fan kicks on to help lower the rising temperatures and it sends out a notification to police and the parents.
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"It basically senses the baby," Bishop said. "It cools down the baby and contacts authorities."
Bishop now has a patent pending and is talking with car companies and manufacturers.
Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths and most of the victims here and nationwide are under 2 years old. (© 2017 Nissan)
"It blew my mind," said his mom.
An average of 37 children die each year after being left alone in a hot car, according to one Northern California researcher. Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths and most of the victims here and nationwide are under 2 years old.
Children's Health Dallas is part of a group of organizations trying to bring attention to the issue. Lori Vinson, a registered nurse who is senior director of trauma at Children's Health said heat is particularly dangerous for children.
"They don't sweat like we do, so they don't release the heat in the same way we do," Vinson said. "Their respiratory system will be compromised. Then, they actually get into cardiac problems with irregular heartbeats and that can get them into a fatal situation."
It will take time before Curry's device, called "Oasis" goes on the market. In the meantime, experts say there is a low-tech option everyone with a young child should try.
By leaving a physical reminder in the back seat – a cell phone, a purse or even a shoe since you can't go far without it – a life could be saved.
Saving lives is also what would convince Bishop Curry that his device is a success.
"Our mission is to save at least one life," Curry told Fox News. "If I can get just one that has been saved, that basically tells me it works."
Here's a link to a short video on the subject and comments from the young inventor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxVY5HlNosE
If and when this product becomes available, it will be a natural for saving both human and animal lives. In the meantime, in hot weather--and speaking exclusively about dogs--how about these safety tips:
1--If you're going to be away from your car for any significant time, probably best to leave your dog at home or in the care of others.
2--If you'll be away from car for short time(10 minutes or less) leave car running with air conditioner on and doors locked or, at least, keep windows open enough to circulate air but not to the point dog might be able to exit.
3--leave a bowl of water inside car.
4--Use a sunshade to lessen heat.
5--If possible, park in a shaded area.
5--I'm not going any further. Why ever leave your dog unattended in a car when the weather can be deadly ? Can it can be done without any risk? What are your thoughts?
Walter Stoffel is a substance abuse counselor and GED teacher in correctional facilities. When not behind bars, he likes to read, travel, work out and watch bad movies. Major accomplishment : He entered a 26.2-mile marathon following hip replacement surgery and finished—dead last. The author currently lives with his wife Clara, their dog Buddy (another rescue), and cat Winky (yet another rescue).
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