Heatstroke is NO Joke
If you are like me, you never knew heatstroke was a “thing” until recently (like the past couple of years). I never thought about it, never knew about it happening outside of running a race or during beach time over the summer. Never ever did I think that it was happening all over the country because children were being left in cars. In fact, 37 children die every year…39 last year and 5 to date this year.
Let me tell you, once I started to research it and learn more and more about it, I was floored. I cried in disbelief at what heatstroke does to the body…especially the body of these little babies and children that are forgotten in a car.
Heatstroke begins to set in when the body temperature reaches 104 degrees. Dizziness, confusion, profuse sweating, seizures….it is a slow and agonizing death.
It was the summer of 2014 when this issue rocked me to my core. News report after news report- “Another child dies in a hot car”. And then it happened…. in MY neighborhood…..at MY pediatricians office. HOW could this be? HOW does this happen?
I sobbed that day. For the child. For the mom. For the dad. For the family. For our pediatrician. I just could not imagine how they were feeling. Luckily that baby survived. But that moment, that event, prompted me to do something..to take action. You see, I live by Ghandi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. This has been my life motto for years…so it was what I knew I had to do. I HAD to do SOMETHING….to be the change. And then it hit me. An app!
EVERYONE has their phone glued to them all the time. Literally…ALL. THE. TIME. There is an app for everything else….so my husband and I began brainstorming. And we finally came up with Baby OK. Why the name Baby OK? Well, I am one of those helicopter/crazy moms and I am always calling out to my kids to check on them. When #3 was little I would always say to him, “Baby ok?” and he would always reply with yes or if he needed something…so it was fitting.
So, I bet you are wondering how it works….it is actually VERY simple. The app is activated via bluetooth every time you get in the car. A notification prompts you to acknowledge whether the baby is in the car or not. If yes, then the app runs in the background until bluetooth is turned off. If no, then the app is disabled until you get in the car again. The buttons are big and there is very little text. You can customize the app with your child’s picture and name and you can pre-program 3 of your most frequented places. In the event that you do not acknowledge that you have gotten the child out of the car, after 2 attempts the app will notify your emergency contact. We are working on some bigger things, but until phase 1 is funded, we cannot launch the other features. We want this app to be FREE on both the iTunes and Google Play platforms, so we need some serious funding. The app is also able to operate manually (in the event that you do not have bluetooth in your car).
I designed Baby OK with parents, grand parents and care givers in mind. We could all use a little reminder and peace of mind when it comes to our most precious cargo. But until Baby OK is available, do me a favor and be vigilant about kids and cars. Put your bag in the back, leave yourself a sticky note, set a calendar appointment….DO something to NOT forget your child or the child that you are caring for. It can happen to anyone and all it take is a few minutes before it is too late.
Follow Eryn on Instagram to read more and follow her journey through Motherhood.