Marty's Message

This Story Could Save a Child's Life

We've gotta make things safer when it comes to cars and kids -- you, me, and the people who make our vehicles.


"I killed her Marty! I killed her Marty!"

The scream. So loud.. it scared me. It was 2004. But the blood curdling scream was so horrifying, it feels like yesterday.

It was Dave. He was a close friend from Dallas. His voice trailed off... then the sobbing began. He had just accidentally backed up over and killed his two year old daughter with his SUV. Dave lost his daughter.. lost his wife...they divorced. Dave became addicted to drugs... an alcoholic. It blew up his life. The wound of his daughter's death just wouldn't heal.

Dave and countless other parents did lobby Congress and car manufacturers. They demanded back up cameras for all cars. They got 'em. All new cars must have them. I think of Dave and his two year old daughter every time I back up my SUV with cameras... sensors... guiding the way.

I'm thinking of Dave again. I'm sitting in a coffee shop on a hot afternoon..staring into the back seat a Subaru. We placed a life like baby doll in a car seat and walked away. More than fifty kids died like that last year.. left in hot cars my absent minded moms... dads... nannies... you name it.

It happened a few weeks ago in New Jersey. A man left a one year old in a hot van. The baby was found unresponsive hours later. The man, her legal guardian, charged with neglect. I posted the story on Facebook. Justin lashed out. You forget your child and it dies. YOU SHOULD DIE. That won't help.

On an 80 degree day, a car can reach 100 degrees inside in 10 minutes.

Here's what will help. Awareness. We decided to raise it with our real-time demonstration. We placed that life-like baby in the back seat of that car with the sun beating down. We put in a cell phone that played sounds of a baby crying. And we left. And we waited. Inside the car... temperatures pushing 120 degrees. Did anyone stop? Click here to watch our story and see . Either way, if that were an actual baby in the car, doctors tell us the baby would have died. Nearly fifty babies died in hot cars this year in the U.S. alone.

More than 800 children have died in hot cars in the U.S. since 1998.

What's my point? What are we trying to prove? A few things. Some cars have warning lights and sounds when you open the car door...when you shut off the engine. My car warns me, asks me to check the back seat. All cars don't do that.

Rear seat reminders are standard on some cars. Why not all?

Our hope...you will pay attention to this hazard. You will watch our story. When you buy a new car.. you will demand the back seat warning system. Until then, how 'bout this:

  • Women: throw your purse in the backseat when you buckle in your child. You will never forget to take your purse with you, so you won't forget your baby either.
  • Men: leave your cell phone or even your wallet in the back seat. You're not going to walk away without those, so you won't walk away without your child either..
Truth is...we all make mistakes...we all forget things. But leaving a kid in the backseat of a car can be a deadly mistake.

Here at Sparkt... we try to make a difference. Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Watch our video on Sparkt (click here) . What you learn...could save a child's life.

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