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Oklahoma second graders win award for life-saving idea

2nd Graders Win Award for Life-Saving Idea

OKLAHOMA CITY – It's a story we hear all too often, a small child dying after being left in a car where the temperature rises well above 100-degrees.

Last weekend, a 17-month-old in Texas died after being left in a hot car.

Sheriff John Whetsel, with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, said, "This year, again, every nine days a child is going to die in a hot car and every one of those can be prevented."

According to Safe Kids Oklahoma, there were more than 40 cases across the country of children dying in hot cars last year.

It is a sad reality that got a group of second graders at John Ross Elementary School thinking.
Their invention doesn't look like much, but they hope it could someday save the lives of children, alerting parents when they have left a child behind.

Elora Johnson, one of the second graders, said, "It can tell the difference between a bag or something living."

Johnson and her friends thought of the idea after witnessing an animal suffering.

She said, "Once, when I went to the state Capitol, there was a dog left in the car for about an hour."
It is a sight that stuck in her mind.

Right now, their idea is just an idea but they say they hope it can be a reality in the future.

The kids say a sensor would be installed under the car seat, which would be able to tell when a child is in the car.

An alarm would sound if that child is not taken out after the car is shut off.

Johnson said, "If the temperature gets over 100-degrees, it rolls down the windows, it flashes lights."
It then would say, "Hot car, baby inside."

The second graders have won a national award for the idea.

As part of their national award, all three won a trip to Washington D.C. and a chance to meet Bill Nye 'the Science Guy.'

They have each also won a $10,000 scholarship and a tablet.

Join the discussion

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Nadine April 30 2014 at 9:51 AM

These three kids are seeing, thinking, and doing. Trying to solve problems like this is a good thing. I hope their idea comes into fruition....it will save a lot of lives.

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Lrusch2 April 29 2014 at 10:39 PM

Kids are great. Nice that they got each a scholarship. But their parents should patent the idea to make sure some big name company doesn't patent it and make millions of dollars while these kids are totally forgotten.

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n1khb April 30 2014 at 10:55 AM

I like the idea, but I still want to see an idea that would fix stupidity in the parents and pet owners that would render the kids' new invention obsolete.

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welcome, Danny April 30 2014 at 10:18 AM

I know someone who patented this idea already.
The device is somewhat different in the response, but the idea is the same.
So, I am surprised to read this.

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Steve April 30 2014 at 10:27 AM

This is a great idea. I hope it will be implemented. Since the un-esteemed Governor (Mary Falin) cut the funding for school tornado shelters for low income families' children, it is nice to see an idea that will save children and Mary can't cut anything from the budget for it.

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pvevans01191980 April 30 2014 at 10:20 AM

In most of these cases it’s a parent who deliberately leaves their child in the car while they run into the store. So in those cases I would think they would just turn the sensor off (because they are idiots).

BUT In some cases it’s an honest mistake. A dad who isn’t used to taking the kids to daycare in the morning, leaves the baby in the back sleeping and doesn’t realize it. Or something along those lines. When your routine is changed suddenly it’s easy to make a mistake. This invention would be amazing in THOSE situations.

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Tim April 29 2014 at 11:47 PM

Now, all of the ignorant people who leave a child in a car. hot or not, will be reminded by an invention thought up by a handful of children. I suppose that car seat manufacturers will have to build this into their car seats as standard equipment because people who leave their children in a car, cannot be bothered by having to purchase this device. I'm proud of these kids and they should be proud of themselves.

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1 reply
Susan Tim April 30 2014 at 10:31 AM

Tim, I think the same about the manufacturing idea. However, it is not ignorance, malice, or any other intentional reason for this tragedy.

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Susan April 30 2014 at 10:19 AM

Leave it to 7- and 8-year olds to come up with a no-brainer solution for something we just keep talking about. But they do have the luxury of knowing that just about any idea they come up with IS POSSIBLE!!
Awesome students and an awesome teacher leading them!!

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crystl38a April 29 2014 at 11:59 PM

Yeaaa! Fantastic. WONDERFUL. Thank YOU

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meryleeweisman April 30 2014 at 10:10 AM

This SHOULD be on the front page of every newspaper in the country. It SHOULD be the lead story on every news show as well. Why do all the news outlets cover every kid that commits a crime, but NEVER leads with kids who do brilliant things like this? These kids are incredible, REAL LIVE HEROES. We should be making a major big deal over them, they EARNED a huge fuss and attention. Kids all over the country NEED TO SEE POSITIVE EXAMPLES LIKE THIS. Who knows what they will be inspired to do? Maybe just maybe we can inspire and encourage them to do more than crimes! Just a thought.

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