Florida is known as the Sunshine State. It is a State that boast wonderful beaches and friendly residents. Year round, Florida’s weather is great for outdoor activities, sports, and recreation. It is a both a vacation destination and retirement destination for many. With the warm weather, there is something else that Florida has its share of — that is hot car deaths, hyperthermia, and heat stroke. This is especially true for our children including but not limited to toddlers and infants. Unfortunately, some parents and child care providers underestimate the power and dangers of Florida’s weather and heat. The impact of Florida’s sunshine is sometimes realized too late by some in the aftermath of a serious personal injury to death to a child. Most people realize that a vehicle with the air conditioning turned off would be dangerous in 100 plus degree weather. Other, many underestimate the dangers of even weather in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, and even 50s when it comes to heat stroke. It has been reported that even 57 degree weather can result in heat stroke for a child left unattended in a vehicle with no air conditioning.
Here are some facts and information to keep in mind and to tell others about. Top of mind safety awareness is important for the health and welfare of children residing in or visiting the State of Florida.
*The inside of a vehicle can heat up by 20 degrees in 10 minutes.
*A child’s body reacts differently to warm – hot weather than that of an adult body.
*Heat stroke can occur inside a vehicle even with the outside weather in the 50s.
*It is a criminal offense in the State of Florida to leave a child unattended in a vehicle with or without the air conditioning on.
*An average of 38 children die every year from heat stroke as a result of being left unatended in a closed vehicle.
The St. Augustine Record reported on these and other facts at Officials Warn Drivers of Heat Stroke in Closed Vehicles.
In addition to criminal charges, a civil case or lawsuit can be brought against a child care provider and / or day care center for the negligence of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. Each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances; however, there is not much of a viable excuse that a day care provider can raise if the day care provider leaves a child unattended in a van, bus, or vehicle. A simple roll call, checklist, and visual and physical sweep of the vehicle would avoid a child being left behind just about every time.
If a child is injured while under the care of a school, day care provider, child care provider, or summer camp, it is often helpful to discuss the incident or situation with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer. It is also helpful to have some resources available like books on topic to review. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury. Another good resource is the book titled – When the Wheels Stop Spinning – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book has chapters on Insurance Issues & General Questions, School / Day Care Transporation Injuries, Settlement – Compensation – Damages, and other topics. You can get this book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.