The Baby Saver Story

Hi, I'm Andrew Pelham. I love to make and build stuff. So when I heard about the Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors, I knew I'd have to give it a try.

Why saving babies?

Why not? Seriously, we brainstormed big problems that don't have good solutions. Children trapped in hot cars was at the top of my list.

When I did some research, I learned that a child can be killed in less than 15 minutes in a hot car. Pediatrics reported that 38 children are killed this way every year. I also remembered a local family who lost their baby who was asleep in the back seat last year.

I couldn't get that story out of my mind. If I could prevent just one tragedy, then my invention would be a success.

Where can I buy one?

I am only eleven, so instead of selling the EZ Baby Saver, I want to teach you how to make your own. You can make it yourself in fifteen minutes with rubber bands and duct tape. Using it properly is up to you!

Why rubber bands?

The Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors is sponsored by the Global Polymer Institute at the University of Akron, rubber capital of the U.S. The rules state that a rubber band must be an integral part of the design.

I also thought rubber bands could be a cheap, simple way to tackle this problem. If I could come up with a working invention with rubber bands, then anyone could make one for just a couple of dollars. There are baby alarms on the market, but they're expensive and sometimes they don't work (the sensor shifts or is damaged by car seat spills, etc.)

How did you come up with this design?

I'm the oldest of four, so I know a LOT about strapping kids in cars. I found out that you can't add anything that might interfere with a car seat, so that was the biggest limitation. First I tried a flag that parents could raise and lower when strapping, but I couldn't make it work with different door styles.

Then I went back to my simple plan to keep parents from walking away from the car with a child inside.   I came up with a stretchy strap that does actually stop parents in their tracks. It's bright and neon. It's supposed to make you stop as you leave the car and ask, "Is my child strapped in the back seat?"

Wouldn't parents who forget a child in the car also forget to stretch the EZ Baby Saver strap in the first place?

No parent WANTS to leave their children in a hot car, but everyone could use a reminder when the normal routine is changed. Like anything else, using the EZ Baby Saver is something you train yourself to do.

This is a weakness of the Baby Saver...and bike helmets...and seat belts. My mom says that in the old days, many people rode without seat belts or even child car seats. No one would do that today!

The EZ Baby Saver is a tool to help people remember, ESPECIALLY when the routine changes, when a child is sleeping or facing the rear, or when a car is driven by grandparents or caregivers. People say it would also be great for pet owners.

Any questions? You can email me at pelhamandrew at gmail dot com