SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities reminded the public about the dangers of leaving a child in a parked car during Florida’s hot weather with a demonstration in Sweetwater.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers and City of Miami Fire Rescue personnel participated in a demonstration on Wednesday to show the dangers of leaving a child in a car during the Florida summer.
“Cracking the windows does not help slow the heating process,” U.S. Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris said. “It can take only 15 minutes before a child may sustain a heatstroke.”
In the demonstration, a dark-colored SUV, which was parked in the sun for less than an hour, heated up to over 100 degrees inside.
“For a child, their body temperatures increase three to five times faster, and if they reach 104 degrees, their organs shut down,” City of Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez said. “If it reaches to 107 [degrees], then it becomes lethal.”
According to Safe Kids, a non-profit organization that works to help families and communities keep children safe from injuries, since 1998, at least 58 children have died after they were left in a hot car for too long. Most of the victims were 3 years old or younger.
“We’re reminding parents and caregivers to look before you lock,” FHP Lt. Alex Camacho said. “Anyone who leaves a child unattended in a vehicle — and in doing so causes great bodily harm to a child — commits a felony of the third-degree.”
Officials also gave tips to the public to avoid leaving a child in a hot car.
“Place a personal item, such as a purse or wallet, in the back seat,” Harris said. “There are other technological gadgets that you can use and purchase to help remind you to look in the back seat.”
For more information about heat safety, click here to be redirected to Safe Kids’ website.
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