Alarmed by hot car deaths, Chesterfield teen creates reminder cards for parents

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield teenager is trying to prevent children from dying in hot cars. Hannah Rhudy told 8News she was compelled to act after two infants died in Chesterfield last year.

Now that teen is leading the charge to prevent hot car deaths in Chesterfield, and beyond.

“I wanted to think of a way to help save lives,” said Rhudy, the brains behind ‘BabyIn BabyOut.’

‘BabyIn BabyOut’ makes hang tags to go on the rear-view mirror of a car. They are a reminder for parents of their precious cargo in the backseat — especially during those hot summer months.

The National Safety Council says since 1998, 25 children have died from hot cars in Virginia. The same group says 2018 was a record-setting year with 52 deaths nationwide.

“Hearing that something like this can happen to every type of family, especially even in my hometown, just really bothered me,” said Rhudy.

Rhudy is finishing up 8th grade at Midlothian Middle School. She’s visited with local law enforcement to share her tags and already received meaningful feedback from the community.

“I’ve had a lot of parents come up to me and say they forgot their kid while they were in Target for 10 minutes and even though their story turned out okay, they know it’s not the case for everyone,” Rhudy told 8News.

To help expand its reach and impact, ‘BabyIn BabyOut’ is also working to become a non-profit.

“Once we establish as a non-profit, we’ll start taking donations, so we can keep these hang tags free for our families,” Rhudy explained. 

Just a year in, these tags have made it as far as Ohio, Illinois, California, and Washington. But Rhudy says she’s ready to go nationwide.

“It’s a problem that affects every demographic and every type of family and I wanna make sure my hang tags can get in the hands of every type of family,” she told 8News.

Rhudy’s first order from the printer was about 5,000 hang tags. Of that shipment, the organization only has about 100 left but according to Rhudy, she is getting ready to re-stock.

To request a hang tag, more info can be found on the ‘BabyIn BabyOut’ website.

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