TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida has the second most child deaths from being left in a hot car, and a recent string of national incidents has prompted the state to issue a warning.
In the past week alone, five kids locked in hot cars have been reported to the Department of Children and Families. A representative with DCF said if you feel like you're going to forget your child in the back seat, leave something like your shoes, cellphone or briefcase with them so you'll be sure to check before leaving the vehicle.
"A child's internal temperature raises five times faster than adults," said Michelle Glady, with DCF.
Florida has had 66 child heat-stroke deaths since 1998, trailing only Texas.
A typical Florida summer day can bring plenty of sudden rainstorms. Lt. Mike Bellamy with the Tallahassee Fire Department said that doesn't make things any safer for toddlers.
News4Jax's Matt Galka did a heat test for himself during a thunderstorm. His vitals were checked before getting into the vehicle, which was around 85 degrees when he got in. Two minutes in and he already worked up a good sweat in the back of the car. Within four minutes, the car reached 99 degrees, and then rose to 104 degrees. Six minutes in, the temperature rose to 111 degrees.
Another check of vitals showed his heart rate and blood pressure both elevated.
It was a stern reminder that it's never OK to leave kids, pets or anyone in the back of a hot Florida car.