The summer sun can raise the temperature inside a vehicle to 200 degrees. More than 200 children have died nationwide over the past decade after being left in hot cars.
Tallahassee, Florida - The state of Florida issues some common-sense reminders that could make the difference between life and death in Florida's broiling hot summer sun.
The temperature inside a car can soar to 200 degrees and pose a deadly threat to children and pets. Children's bodies are more vulnerable to extreme heat and they can suffer fatal heat stroke in just minutes.
Now Florida is launching a new campaign called "Look Before You Lock."
One study finds the main reason kids are left behind in cars is because parents simply forget that a child is in the back seat.
Erin Gillespie of the Department of Children and Families says the campaign urges adults to use a backup system to remind them about little ones in the car.
"It's hard for people to believe that you could forget your child in the car but it actually does happen. Usually parents get out of their routine. The baby may be sleeping in the back and they simply forget. So we would ask parents to have a reminder: tie a ribbon around their steering wheel, leave their purse or some other item in the back seat so they always have to go in the back seat and check the car. Make sure there are no children in there before they lock the door."
Since cars can heat up so fast in Florida, you should never purposely leave a young child in a vehicle even for just a few minutes.
Gillespie says state law makes it a crime to leave a child younger than six unattended in a car for more than 15 minutes.
"But really 15 minutes is too long. A child could die in the heat in less than 15 minutes."
If a child is seriously injured or killed after being left behind in a car, the adult can face up to five years in prison.