Child Deaths in Hot Cars May Reach New Record in Florida This Year

baby in back seatThe year 2010 was one of the deadliest years on record in regards to deaths caused by kids being left inside hot vehicles.

Sadly, Florida health and law enforcement officials are now predicting another devastating year since there have already been 15 kid’s deaths reported nationwide.

How many deaths in Florida this year?

In Florida, there have already been four children killed due to being left in a hot vehicle. The kids range in age from 11 months to 3 years of age.

How dangerous is Florida?

Studies reveal that Florida is second only to Texas in the most heat-related child deaths each year. Florida has reported at least 64 child deaths related to heat stroke since 1998.

What is the danger zone?

When a child’s temperature reaches 104 degrees, their organs begin to shut down, and when a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, they can die.

Incidents reported so far this year in Florida:

  • June 22: A 3-year-old boy died after suffering heat stroke when he was forgotten for three hours in his family’s car while they attended a funeral in Manatee County.
  • June 2: A 2-year-old toddler was found dead in the family’s car in Pensacola after the family had reported the child missing several hours earlier.
  • May 24th: An 18-month-old girl was left by her mother in a hot car for nearly two hours in Highlands County. The baby suffered heat stroke and died. The mother has been charged with child neglect and manslaughter.
  • May 16th: In Miami-Dade County, a mother locked her 11-month-old son inside a car where he died of heat exposure. The mother is now charged with manslaughter.
  • An additional 11 children have been killed in similar instances across the nation so far this year.

How prevalent is heatstroke?

According to findings by Safe Kids Worldwide, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for kids. On average, a child is killed every 10 days across the nation from being trapped inside a vehicle.

How to prevent child deaths in hot cars:

To reduce the likelihood of forgetting a child, caregivers and parents should enact ACT.

  • A: Avoid heat-stroke related injuries and death by never leaving a child behind in a vehicle. In Florida, summer temperatures can make leaving a young child alone in a hot car even for a few minutes deadly. In addition, it is important to keep vehicles locked when not in use so children cannot climb in and trap themselves inside.
  • C: Create reminders so a child is not forgotten and accidentally left in the vehicle. One good idea is to keep a stuffed animal in the front seat when a child in riding along. This will remind the driver there is a child riding with them who they need to tend to and not leave alone.
  • T: Take action. Any individual who sees a child alone and unattended in a car should called 911 immediately. There is no way of knowing how long the child has been left alone, and quick action could save the child’s life.

Has your child been seriously injured to someone else’s irresponsibility? We may be able to help!

If your child has been injured due to neglectful actions, call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, Tampa child injury lawyers today for a free consultation at 1-800-753-5203.