SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A local pediatrician has developed a new app to remind parents to check the back seat of their cars in hopes of preventing child and pet hot car deaths.
"I'd like to know it helped one person remember about a baby they would have otherwise forgotten in the back of their car," said creator Dr. Howard Smart.
Though it's uncommon for parents to forget their children in the back of a hot car, it does happen.
"Every year, an average of 37 children die in the back of hot cars in this country," said Smart.
Dr. Smart is the chairman of pediatrics at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medicine Center. He created Child On Board, an iPhone app which launched three weeks ago, to prevent such cases. Just this past weekend, three-year-old twins from Louisiana died after they were found in a hot car.
"The idea came to me about a year ago that we should use something in technology to prevent child deaths in the back of hot cars," said Smart.
The app is GPS based and knows whenever you have your phone on you. Once downloaded, you can program the app with addresses often associated with your child, like home or daycare. The app will then recognize those places and ask if you want it to monitor your drive. It will then remind you to check on your child after you have stopped the car.
"Once you get it going, it knows that you're driving and then the phone knows when you stop driving and says, hey, did you look for the baby in the backseat?" said Smart.
Dr. Smart says its crucial for parents to be aware of just how dangerous a hot car can be.
"The temperature can rise very quickly. In five minutes, it can go to a hundred. In fifteen minutes, it can go up to 120," said Smart.
The app also has a feature for pets and can be downloaded for free at the iTunes Store.