The St. Johns County Sheriff’s department is releasing details about what happened to a one-year-old who was left inside a car to die.
According to a report, on Sunday, June 14, a young one-year-old was left in the automobile after her father dropped her mother off at work. She was in her car seat in the back and her father assumed she was with relatives. Long remained for several hours inside the car, parked outside her St. Augustine home. When she was finally found, she was blue and not breathing. The little girl later died at Flagler Hospital.
Our hearts go out to the family and to the little girl who suffered so.
Already this year there have been 12 wrongful deaths of children left inside a hot vehicle, reports Jan Null, a professor of Meteorology at San Francisco State University.
Add this to 35 and 42 child deaths, in 2007 and 2006, due to hyperthermia or heat stroke. Hundreds have died over the last ten years and children can die in a hot car even when the weather is relatively mild.
Under Florida law, it is illegal to leave a child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle for any longer than 15 minutes, but even that is too long for the Florida heat. Under Florida sun, even a temperature of 70 degrees can rise twenty degrees in ten minutes. The state can take custody of any child if you are found to be in violation of this law and you can be charged with a crime for inflicting the risk of death or personal injury on a child.
The consumer organization, Kids and Cars reminds us that there are several things we can do to remind us about kids in the back. First, put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, your employee badge, lunch or brief case, etc., on the floor board in the back seat.
Secondly, place a large teddy bear in the child seat when it is not occupied, and move it to the front when it is. It’s a visual reminder you have a rear passenger. Get into the habit of opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind. Also, have your child’s day care provider call if the child does not show up on schedule. Make sure they have a complete list of names, and all numbers.
And lastly, when you walk through a parking lot, look through the windshield into the back seat. Be prepared to call 9-1-1 and get the child to fresh air and deliver CPR.
Don’t assume leaving a child in a car can’t happen, because it does, and to caregivers from all walks of life. This potential for tragedy to children says something about our busy days doesn’t it? If your child has been injured in any type of accident, our skilled St. Augustine personal injury lawyers at Farah and Farah can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.