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App Alerts Parents When Child Is Left Inside a Car

Hot car deaths happen more often in Texas than in any other state

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    App Alerts Parents When Child Is Left Inside a Car

    Texans know heat can be dangerous, but every year a child is left in a hot car and dies of heatstroke. (Published Wednesday, July 11, 2018)

    Texans know heat can be dangerous, but every year a child is left in a hot car and dies of heatstroke.

    It happens in Texas more than anywhere else in the nation with 116 deaths in the past 10 years. Now there’s an app to help parents protect their kids.

    The constant news stories prompted Erin O’Connor to work on a solution. He came up with The BackSeat app, which he hopes will make a difference.

    “If it saves just one baby, one baby's life, that’s why I did this,” O'Connor said.

    Ten months of building, designing and testing led to the simple download on your phone that senses when your car moves. When the app senses you’ve stopped, it makes your phone ring and vibrate, reminding you that your child is in the back seat.

    We watched two moms try it out. Brittany’s daughter, Braylee, likes to nap in the car, and Braylee’s car seat faces the back.

    "You can only reason see her hair," said Brittany.

    If a parent forgets their child is with them and has this app, the phone will ring nonstop. The volume will increase, the flashlight will blink and if you don’t turn it off then the app will send emails and texts along with the GPS location of your car to three phone numbers you set up ahead of time.

    “You can’t ignore it, it’s not something you can turn off,” said Jennifer.

    "It actually happened to me today," recalled Brittany.

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    "I had her with me but I left my phone in the car and I came back to the car and my phone is blown up with alerts and it was like you need to unlock and go get your child."

    Pressing a few buttons lets the app know you actually have your child and deactivates the app.

    “I would rather a parent be embarrassed than devastated,” said O'Connor.

    Police in Pantego have also started a campaign putting up signs around the area as a reminder to check for your kids as well.

    One of the things Brittany told us is it’s especially great for the parent who doesn’t typically drive the kids around. You may be more likely to forget your child is back there — unthinkable for so many of us — but it happens far too often.

    ONLINE: The BackSeat


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