Jimmy Patronis Warns Floridians About the Dangers of Leaving Kids, Pets in Hot Cars

This week, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis warned parents, caregivers and loved ones to never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle especially as a stifling heat wave impacts much of the state.

In 2021, 23 children died in hot car-related tragedies including three from Florida. Four deaths have been reported so far in 2022.

“A major heat wave will impact much of the state this week bringing with it blazing temperatures and the dangers associated with hot cars. Parents and caregivers should never leave children alone in a car under any circumstances. Temperatures inside a parked car increase quickly, becoming dangerously hot in just a matter of minutes. Experts say that an average of 38 children die every year from hot car-related tragedies. These heartbreaking numbers are preventable by following a few safety tips like staying alert when your daily routine changes and avoiding distractions while driving. Following these tips can help you and your loved ones avoid a hot car tragedy this summer,” Patronis said.

The CFO’s office offered the following “Four Tips to Avoid Hot Car Tragedies” for Floridians:

1. Check the back of your car. If you transport children, make it a routine to open the back door of your car every time you park, even if the child is not with you at the time.

2. Store an important item in the backseat. If you are driving a child, after you buckle them in a car seat or booster seat put something you need for your destination in the back seat as a reminder to open the back door, such as: a cellphone, employee badge, handbag, or other items you need to keep with you.

3. Use your phone alarm. Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at childcare. Remember to make the alarm song/sound distinct and different from all other alert sounds on your device.

4. Beware of a change in routine. If you have a change in routine, such as your spouse or parent dropping your child off at childcare, make sure you confirm that the drop-off was made.

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