New app looks to prevent hot-car deaths

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - With triple digits here to stay, it serves as a reminder for parents of the dangers of leaving children inside a hot car.

There is an app for that, The Backseat app, which notifies parents to check twice before walking away from their car.

"It's burning up right now with us talking so you can imagine leaving the kid in the car for two minutes how hot it can get?" Andrea Harris said.

Harris is a Wichita Falls resident and a mother of three. She said she can always tell when they are still in the car.

"They're pretty noisy so I always know that they're there," Harris said.

She said that was not always the case.

"When I just had my oldest daughter, that was the hardest because I was a single mom," Harris said. "So I was a lot , I was running back to the car trying to get her. That part I can understand."

Unfortunately many parents, do not remember until it is too late. A Kids and Cars report showed 43 children died last year of heatstroke because they were left in a car. Texas is the number one state in hot car deaths.

Erin O'Connor the creator of the app said he created it to prevent another child from suffering the same fate.

"It's always been deeply, deeply personal to me," O'Connor said.

The app only turns on when you drive and sends a notification when it starts. Once you make a stop for 40 seconds, it sends another message and can only be turned off by inputting a code. It is a reminder to the user their kid is still in the car. If you ignore it, after five minutes they get multiple messages before a 'loud obnoxious noise' starts blaring to get their attention. If the user still ignores that, then three people, they chose, will get an email and text with information on where they are and what car they are using to help save a life.

"I rather a parent be slightly embarrassed than burying their child," O'Connor said. "Every parent says it will never happen to them until it does."

"A lot of people will be like 'I don't need that. I've had kids for years.' but, it's just that one time," Harris said. "It only takes one time to forget your kid for five minutes."

You can find more information on the app on its website.

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