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Troopers urge parents to never leave a child or pet inside a hot car

Posted at 11:04 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 11:04:01-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Troopers in Southwest Florida are reminding drivers of the dangers of a hot car, as a South Florida family is mourning the death of A 17-month-old child in Broward County.

Pembroke Pines Police say he was left inside a hot car for about eight hours while his parent was at work on Saturday.

Florida Highway Patrol spoke to Fox 4 on why it can be easy to underestimate the power of the heat.

Lt. Greg Bueno says it’s an ongoing and dangerous situation. He says sometimes people try to make an exception by leaving a window cracked or turn the air conditioning on in the car.

However, the car's temperature can rise at such a high rate, it can hurt or kill a child or pet in just minutes.

According to these statistics, 24 children have already died this year in the United States due to heat stroke in a car.

A one-year-old died in Miami back in February, and another child over the weekend in Pembroke Pines.

Across the country, more than 750 children have died since 1998.  About 30% of them were younger than a year old.

Florida is second-highest state in the number of those deaths. Texas is number one.

FHP says all of the deaths could have been prevented.

"And the unfortunate reality is cars get hot really quick and we most certainly can never leave a child or animal in a car like that under those conditions," Lt Greg Bueno said.

When a car sits in the sun, the dashboard, steering wheel and seat temperature can range from 180 °F to over 200 °F.

Lt. Bueno says under no circumstance should a child or animal should be left in a car unattended.

"I understand we are all in a hurry at times, we have a lot we are juggling or a lot on our schedule or running late from somewhere, you can't have it,” Bueno said.

Under 90°F temperatures, a car can get as hot as 110°F in 10 minutes.

In an hour, it can hit over 130 degrees inside the car, which can be deadly for a person or animal.

There’s an app that helps remind people that they have a child or pet in the car. The app is called 'Wave'. You can set a reminder on the app and it will send an alert once you park the car.