Oh, school projects … what would parents do without them? Fewer 10 PM trips to CVS to grab poster board, probably.
But Sophie Rapson’s recent homework assignment can actually help with a very serious issue. When the 4th-grader received a class assignment to invent something, her mom Jenny helped her come up with a problem that needed to be solved. Unfortunately, forgetting children in the back of a hot car is a problem that has happened too many times. Sophie loved the idea of inventing something to help prevent this — and she’s seriously on to something.
She and her parents brainstormed for a while, and “eventually, she articulated that we would need something to attach to the parent, and something to attach to the child’s car seat, and something that would stretch in between,” Jenny wrote in a blog post. “And it would have to be adjustable, to work in a variety of different-sized cars.”
Together they searched for products that would work for their idea, and we love what they came up with. “Sophie’s Baby Forget-Me-Not” is made with a stretchable cord usually used for fishing that can stretch up to 12 feet, and two Velcro loops on either end. The video of how to set up and use the invention is very helpful, making it impossible to forget your little one if used correctly.
The simple invention isn’t for sale, but you could easily make your own with about $12 of material. “Sophie’s not selling her invention, but she doesn’t mind if you copy her design — she wants parents everywhere to make these simple devices and use them every day to ensure no one ever accidentally leaves their babies in the car again,” Jenny said.
According to KidsandCars.org, on average 37 children die each year because they’re trapped in a hot vehicle, so this is an invention that is very much needed. In fact, in September of this year, Ohio U.S. Representative Tim Ryan sponsored the Hot Cars Act of 2016 — legislation that would require car makers to add a reminder system to vehicles that alert the driver when a child is left unattended in the backseat. Until this law gets pushed through, Sophie’s invention is a good alternate option.
“I know she’s my daughter and I’m biased, but I’m pretty proud of this girl!” Jenny added. And we’re proud of her, too!