Polk man’s idea to prevent hot car deaths gains traction across country

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lakeland business owner is hearing from parents from all over the country about a bracelet he created to prevent backseat tragedies.

Scott Headley, owner of Headley Insurance Agency, was tired of hearing about children dying in hot cars.

A record number of 53 children in the U.S. died after being left in a hot vehicle in 2018, according to the National Safety Council. Already 46 children have died from heatstroke in cars in 2019.

A study by NoHeatStroke.org shows 88 children in Florida have died in hot cars in the last decade.

“I kind of thought – why? Why? Why is this starting to be a growing problem?” Headley asked.

Approximately six weeks ago, Headley remembered a piece of advice from his grandmother. When he needed to remember something, she would say, tie a string around your finger.

“I was driving to work and I thought, somehow, we need to put a string on their finger and that’s how the idea of the bracelet came up,” he said.

Instructions are simple. Keep the bright-colored bracelet in the car seat. Put it on your wrist when you place your child in the car seat. Wear it until you take your child out again and place the bracelet back in the car seat.

Monday, his email inbox was flooded by parents around the country wanting a bracelet of their own.

He’s working with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Lakeland Police Department, Nationwide Insurance and Safe Kids Florida Suncoast to spread the message.

“Our message is simple: check your backseat. Stop, look and listen,” said Sheriff Grady Judd in a PSA.

At First Friday on Oct. 4, Headley will be joined by his law enforcement and private partners in Lakeland for a demonstration about the dangers of heatstroke inside cars.

He will also be handing out free bracelets and T-shirts with a donation.

If you would like to learn more about the bracelets, contact Scott Headley at scott.headley@live.com or call him at (863) 701-7411.

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