July 17, 2005 Amateur inventor of a children's lightweight automobile helmet, Michael P. Fleming has filed a formal patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his new child safety device. There is currently no child safety device designed specifically for head protection of children inside automobiles but Fleming believes the need for one is clear. To make the device more attractive to children, Fleming's design makes it compatible with audio and video devices found in many of today's automobiles. It can also be hooked up to handheld gaming systems popular with children.
"By building a helmet that allows a child to listen to music or watch a DVD or play a game, I am hoping we will have a safety device that children will want to wear without complaint," Fleming said.
The design will also be comfortable, including a padded exterior, which means injuries to other passengers can be avoided.
"The time has come for the development of a helmet that protects children in automobiles," said Fleming, an attorney who lives in the Houston area. "Too many children throughout the world are killed in car crashes because of head injuries. Too many of those who survive must face a future filled with the terrible pain and lingering symptoms of severe head injuries. A protective helmet like the one I have designed must be produced to confront this problem."
The Centers for Disease Control have reported that traffic crashes are the number one killer of young children in the United States. For example, 2,542 children ages 15 and younger died in crashes in 2002 and more than 294,000 were injured. Scores of those deaths and injuries were caused by head trauma -- something Fleming's child safety helmet is designed to help protect against.
Companies wishing to contact Michael Fleming about his helmet can reach him here.
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