With rising temperatures and busy summer days, the Department of Children and Families and the Florida Highway Patrol are reminding parents and caregivers not to leave their children unattended in cars. Press Secretary of the Department Erin Gillespie says that this is a growing concern because children are more vulnerable to higher temperatures than adults.
Gillespie adds some parents do accidentally forget their little ones in the car out of routine, but in the state of Florida, it’s a second degree misdemeanor to leave a child younger than 6 unattended in a car for more than 15 minutes. She also describes other hazards that can occur if a child is left alone in a car.
As horrible as it is, Gillespie says Florida has about 2 cases every year where a child has died in an unattended vehicle.
While the Department of Children and Families focuses on the kids involved in these situations, Gillespie says there is also concern for pets and elderly adults who are also at a higher risk for heat stroke.
Gillespie adds that anyone who sees a young child, pet, or vulnerable adult left unattended in a vehicle during these extreme summer temperatures should contact emergency personnel immediately