It’s that time of year, the summer, when we hear the most horrific stories on the news of children dying from being left alone in the car too long. When it comes to your child’s safety in a vehicle, you can never be too cautious.
Florida allows 15 minutes of child being unattended
Under Florida Statutes Section 316.6135 you are legally allowed to leave your child under 6 years of age in your motor vehicle up to a period of 15 minutes. This seems not only outrageous, but dangerous as temperatures can be increased in a short time in a nonmoving motor vehicle. And, what is really confusing about this statute is there is a subsection that declares you are not allowed to leave your child in the car while the engine is running. This statute is clearly outdated as most cars have the ability to keep the car running without being in danger of being placed into gear. It is important that the legislature update the statute to allow a car to be running to engage necessary functions like air conditioning so that children and pets do not suffer heat exhaustion.
New law is being drafted
Lawmakers are looking at shortening the period of time a child can be left in the car. CBS 12 broke the story here. Look close because they interviewed our own Ashley Glasser-Konecky on the subject. However, it seems as though they are not addressing the issue of keeping a vehicle turned on, which could prevent heat exhaustion.
What are Your Responsibilities?
When in doubt about what your responsibilities are; look it up. The Florida Department of Children and Families, provide great resources about your duties.