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YOUR STORY: Hervey Bay couple invent child car safety device

Wondunna's Teleese and Shane Penna, with children Flynn, 5, Kyron, 3, and Azaylah, 15 months, are working on a device that will protect children from possible death in a hot car.
Wondunna's Teleese and Shane Penna, with children Flynn, 5, Kyron, 3, and Azaylah, 15 months, are working on a device that will protect children from possible death in a hot car. Alistair Brightman

YOUR STORY: On Christmas Day of 2014, my family of five and I set off to spend the holiday with family on a lovely six-acre property.

Having three young, active children we always calculate the risks of our surroundings.

We agreed that the dams on the property, the deadly reptiles and the gate to the high-speed road be all risk factors for our small children, should they decide to explore.

That day we did not identify our unlocked car a risk.

Our car was parked in direct sunlight on 40 degree Queensland day with the inside temperature of the vehicle being anywhere up around the 70-80 degree mark.

That day our 2.9 year old disappeared from view for a few minutes.

Remembering our risk assessment we set off to the dams to make sure he wasn't heading off to explore the waterholes. 

Thankfully, we spotted him in the back of our vehicle very quickly, before the onset of dehydration began.

This prompted me to research the statistics involved in how many young children die in this way, such a tragic yet easy accident to occur.

Much to my horror there is an average of 50 children that die each year across Australia and the US and recently NZ, most often by caregivers that have completely forgotten about their children in the car or, like us, having adventurous children who see the car as a playground unknowing of the risks.

Since this event, I have worked day and night and researched for months to devise a plan for a device to protect and prevent children from perishing this way.

After much decision making and planning, my husband and I have provisionally patented our Intellectual Property to bring such a device to life.

Essentially this device will monitor the internal environment of vehicles and detect movement for a consistent period of time and alert the owners/caregivers via software application to the fact there may be a child in the vehicle and also allow ramping up of alert system to emergency services.

When the registered owner receives an alert notification they are able to view the interior of the vehicle via live stream ability to assess the safety or security risk and act to counter the hazard accordingly.

We are planning to give the consumer the ability to start car AC or fan from their remote location if they choose to wire the device into the cars electric/electronic circuit, though this will not be essential to the use of the device.

In addition to that, the device will also act as an internal and external car camera boasting many features for protection against legal claims in car accidents (loop recording, auto shock save function, manual save function) allowing our device to be marketed to the expanding after market car camera industry.

As well as camera function, as we will have motion detection as part of our safety device this will also allow the device to work for security purpose.

The inclusion of GPS tracking your vehicle and ability to real time stream video to the registered owners smart device allows our device to locate your vehicle and identify (record capture) persons involved in stolen car scenarios.

We are hoping that by lobbying the auto insurance companies we can get a discount on your premium with the installation of our device.

Currently, we are in conceptual development stage and need help to bring this piece of technology to market.

Funds raised will go into the development and eventual manufacturing of the equipment, whilst also providing employment and opportunity for Australian manufacturing companies.

To donate, visit

Topics:  cars child safety fundraising hervey bay patent wondunna

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