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Tampa mom on a mission to end hot car child deaths

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Stephanie Davis calls motherhood her most fulfilling job. But she also works in tech, where innovation is the name of the game.

“We average one child a week dying in a hot car, yet we have the technology to prevent,” Davis said.

With modern technology, Davis says a solution is fairly simple and affordable. The challenge, according to this mom of two, is pressuring car seat manufacturers to get on board.

Last week, Davis started a petition to pressure car seat manufacturers to make alert devices a standard feature in all car seats. Ideally, the device would be a sensor with an alarm that could prevent parents from forgetting kids in the backseat.

Davis compares it to the indicator that dings to let you know you left your car light on. It’s a technology that already exists in some car seats, Davis explains, but it’s a premium feature you’ll pay more for.

“Parents shouldn’t have to have an upgrade to save their child’s life,” she said.

Up until this point, Davis says most of the lobbying in the fight to prevent hot car deaths has been directed at car manufacturers, not car seat manufacturers.

According to data from the non-profit KidsAndCars.org, 52 kids have died in hot cars in the U.S. so far this year.

The most recent was two weeks ago in Tampa, when police say a 1-year-old girl died after her parents forgot her in their Jeep and left her there all day.

54 kids died in hot cars in America in 2018 with Florida routinely ranking among the worst states for hot car child deaths.

“I’m here to save lives,” Davis said. “I’m not here to place blame.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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