It only takes 15 minutes for a child in a hot car to sustain a heat stroke or other complications.
The law dictates that leaving children under the age of six in cars that are not running is a second-degree misdemeanor. If the car is running, a child can legally be left alone for less than 15 minutes. Keep in mind, cracking open a window will do little to nothing to keep the car cooler.
The Florida “Motor Vehicle Good Samaritan Law” makes it lawful for an individual to forcibly enter a vehicle to help a person or pet in danger. They will not be held liable for damages if there was no other way to enter the car. Immediately after or before, 911 must be called.
The heat in Florida can become very dangerous, very quickly. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your family safe during the hot summer months:
- Keep your car locked at all times. It is possible for a child to climb into a car, in a hot garage or driveway, and be unable to get out.
- Keep keys and car remotes away from children at all times.
- If you must leave your child in the car while running errands, use drive-thru services.
- Call 911 immediately if you see a child or a pet left alone in a hot car. If the child seems distressed, use the necessary force to remove them from the vehicle.
- Review vehicle safety with any childcare providers
- Do a visual sweep of your entire vehicle before leaving and locking the doors.
- During busy times, such as holidays or get-togethers, be especially aware of your child’s whereabouts.
Don’t let temporary distraction become a tragedy. Keep your family safe and, stay smart, and stay aware.