Tampa dads invent device to prevent hot car deaths

Dads hoping for law to mandate car sensors

TAMPA, Fla. - Florida is now the second worst state in the country when it comes to children dying in hot cars. The latest tragedy happened in Brandon Tuesday, with a two-year-old little boy. But two Tampa dads are on a mission to change these sad statistics.

A two-year-old child left in an SUV, dying in a the Florida heat. Stories like these break Fadi Shamma's heart.

"Honestly after I heard the story, I had trouble sleeping," said Shamma.

That's because Shamma knows a small disc he helped invent can help prevent tragedies.

"It can happen to anyone at any time. All it takes is less than five minutes for something dangerous to happen," Shamma said.

He and his neighbor Jim Friedman are both dads---one with a medical background, the other an engineer.
Together they created Sense A Life. It's a car sensor system with two small parts:  a CD sized foam disc that goes under your child, and a cell phone sized bluetooth sensor, that slips under the driver's seat. There's nothing to plug in or turn on. It does the work for you.

Once you hop out of the car, an audible alarm goes off, alerting you there's a child in the car. If for some reason you still go ahead and close the door, you're going to get a mobile alert on your phone to get that child out of the seat. If you still don't get your child within a minute, it sends another mobile alert to an emergency contact you designate.

The dads are also working with a national organization, KidsAndCars.org, advocating for passage of a federal law that would mandate such devices to be built into all new cars. Eventually they hope car seats will have them built in too.

"If it saves just one life, I'm happy.  Just one life is worth all that we're doing," said Shamma.

The Sense A Life system is currently taking pre-orders, for $99.  You can learn more about the device and how to purchase it here.

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