Florida is a warm weather State. Better stated, Florida is a hot weather State that offers many attractions like beaches and theme parks. Florida’s hot weather also presents dangers to children left in hot vehicles during all times of the year especially Summer months. The death of Haley Brockington who was left in a day care center van illustrated the dangers of Florida’s weather combined with the inattention of staff along with the lack of policies and procedures or the failure to follow adequate policies and procedures. See Why Did Haley Brockington (Age 2 1/2 Years Old) Die in Katie’s Kids Learning Center Van? Legal Rights and Responsibilties See also See also Leave a Child Alone in a Car Can Lead to Serious Personal Injuries, Death, and Prison Time in Florida.
Here are some general tips for Florida day care centers and all other transporters of children to consider to make sure that a child is not left unattended in a hot car in Florida:
1. Never leave a child alone in a hot vehicle. A 5 minute visit to the store can easily turn into a 25 minute visit which an mean the difference between life and death for some children.
2. Have a checklist of that is consistently followed at the end of any transport of children. Double and triple check the list to make sure that every child is removed from the vehicle, bus, or van.
3. Put an item like a stuffed animal or other object in the back of the vehicle, bus, or van. This will serve as a reminder to check all parts of the vehicle and make sure that all children are removed from the vehicle. If you did not bring the stuffed animal to the front of the vehicle or in with you, you did not check the vehicle thoroughly.
4. Train and instruct all transporters of children as to the dangers of leaving a child in a vehicle. Ignorance is rampant as to the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car. Make sure that the driver and other transporters of children understand and recognize the risks and are instructed to never ever put a child at danger.
5. Have a written policy and procedure in place that must be followed each and every time that a child is transported and follow it consistently.