TALLAHASSEE -- After five reports of adults leaving children in hot cars in the past week, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) wants to remind parents how dangerous it is to leave children in a locked car.
All five of those children survived, though some were hospitalized. Since 2013, seven Florida children have died from being locked in a hot car, according to the release.
The temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in only 10 minutes, according to the DCF. The heat can be especially deadly for children because their body temperatures rise five times faster than adults.
“During these extremely hot summer months it’s critical that parents take extra precautions to ensure they aren’t leaving children unattended in a car for any length of time.” Interim Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Too often we hear of children being left alone in cars and it is not only unlawful but the results can be fatal.”
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The DCF said though it's hard to believe, parents can easily leave children behind in the car when they are distracted, rushing, multi-tasking or have a change in routine. The group encourages parents to "look before you lock," to be sure no children are left in the backseat.
In Florida it is a criminal offense to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Anyone who sees a young child or vulnerable adult unattended in a vehicle during these extreme summer temperatures should contact emergency personnel immediately.