CLEARWATER, Fla. (FOX 13) - Reports of children dying after being left in hot cars weighed heavily on the heart of Winter Haven grandmother Carol Staninger.
"It seemed like every week there was a child that died in a car and I just started thinking about it. How could they detect a child in a car?" asked Staninger.
She had an idea but needed help creating a device.
"I wanted something that was fail-safe that could detect a living person through breathing, which is non-contact and automatic," she explained.
Staninger saw a report on FOX 13 News about CMS Worldgroup in Clearwater. The company helps inventors bring their ideas to life.
"I called them and they invited me to come over and they embraced the idea and it's been just wonderful since then," said Staninger.
She got her family on board.
"I kind of thought she was crazy at first and then kind of got into it and everybody pitched in support," said Staninger's son, Eric.
"I told them I'm spending their inheritance to build it, so they said 'OK,'" said Staninger.
"When we asked her 'why do you want to invest this money?' because it was going to be a substantial investment, 'Why do you want to invest this money to get it out in the marketplace?' she says, 'If it saves one life, it's worth it,'" said Charles Ferrer, the president and CEO of CMS Worldgroup.
They came up with a product called Save our loved ones, or SOLO.
"It will detect the presence of one millimeter of movement," said Ferrer.
"It sounds an alarm in an SOS cadence and it doesn't stop until someone comes back to the car and physically turns it off," said Staninger.
"Law enforcement has loved this because now they're going to be hearing a unique sound when somebody is trapped in the car it's not just a regular car horn, it's a unique sound," said Ferrer.
Carol hopes with SOLO, she won't have to hear about any more tragedies involving children left in hot cars.
"I'm very sad their lives are wasted. They have no future and never grow up. The hard part is their loss their just gone and I think that they have to have a chance," said Staninger.
She hopes that automakers will license the device and install it in their vehicles. She also wants to make it available for consumers to purchase.
For more information about SOLO, visit https://saveourlovedones.com/.