In Florida and other warm weather States, the same tragic story seems to be reported every Spring and Summer. A child is left by a day care center in a van or bus and dies as a result of hyperthermia. The name of the child is different but the story seems to be the same. The child was forgotten in the van or bus because roll call was not properly taken and double checked. These “Hot Car” or “Hot Van” deaths are among the easiest to prevent. It does not require the investment of millions, thousands, or even hundreds of dollars to prevent. It only requires a pen, paper, and the attentiveness of one staff member to prevent these deaths from taking place. While it may be tedious to check and double check when children get on and off of a day care center or school bus – the mundane and tedious work is well worth the fact that the lives of children can be saved with this due diligence. The fact is the we live in a world of distractions and multiple responsibilities on the part of day care centers and child care centers. However, the fact that there are distractions and multiple responsibilities are never ever an excuse or defense to leaving a child alone in a hot van, car, or school bus.
A recent death of a 3 year old child in the Orlando area is yet one of many deaths reported when roll call or a head count was not properly completed. When the temperature outside is in the 80s or 90s, the temperature inside in the vehicle can be 40 to 50 degrees or even hotter inside the vehicle. In just a few minutes, a small child can go from healthy to dead when left alone and unattended in a hot day care center van, bus, or vehicle. It was reported that Myles Hill, a 3 year old girl, was left on a day care center vehicle operated by Little Miracles Academy. Following the death of the child, criminal charges were filed in the form of aggravated manslaughter by the State Attorney’s office. You can read more about this topic at 3 Year Old Child Dies in Orlando Florida – Day Care Center Hot Van Death.
When a child dies as a result of the negligence of a day care center, child care provider, summer camp, school, or other third party, the parents can file a wrongful death case against the responsible party, individual, and business. In Florida, wrongful death cases are governed by both case law and statutes as set forth in Florida Statutes Chapter 768.