DCF warns about hot car dangers for children

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's no secret the dog days of summer are here, which is why the Department of Children and Families is reminding parents about how dangerous it is to leave children in cars.

Already this summer, two children in Florida have died from being left in hot vehicles.

"These hot cars can become ovens when you're talking about humidity and heat indexes like this level, and it's putting children at risk," DCF spokesman John Harrell said.

With heat indexes and feels-like temperatures in the 100s during the summer, DCF is urging parents to use extreme caution to make sure no child is left in a car, intentionally or not.

"In Pensacola, there was a situation where a child got into a car and was there," Harrell said. "The child had been missing and were unable to find the child. The child passed away from the heat."

That 2-year-old wandered from his home and got into a hot car. In Miami, a mom was arrested when her 11-month-old died in a hot car. His body temperature reached 109 degrees.

Temperatures inside a car during summer months can get up to 200 degrees.

To ensure you never get distracted and forget, a good practice is to place your purse or briefcase in the back seat next to your child so you remember to look in the back seat before getting out, especially if the child has been sleeping.

"It's breaking the law as well, but more importantly it's putting children at risk," Harrell said. "These temperatures are so extreme, we've got to make sure parents do not leave their children in these cars."

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