Hot cars: Children are being left alone inside vehicles, as the temperature increases
Two children in Central Florida — a 1-year-old girl in Sanford and a 4-year-old boy in Orlando — died in separate incidents Friday after being left in hot cars.
A Seminole County mother has been charged with homicide negligent manslaughter of a child for leaving her 1-year-old daughter in a hot car for seven hours, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
“Initial indications are the mother went to work this morning and forgot the child was in the vehicle. Investigators are still working to establish a timeline of events,” the sheriff’s office posted on social media Friday..
The child’s death is the latest of a string of recent incidents in Florida in which parents have left their children locked inside a car under the broiling sun. In a July tragedy in Pembroke Pines, for instance, a mother left her 17-month old son in her car while she worked at Memorial Hospital Pembroke. The boy died.
In the Seminole County incident, Kailyn Pollard, 29, of Sorrento, is accused of leaving her daughter Kit Noelle Pollard inside her car while she worked from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at iQ Power, a solar energy company.
According to a WKMG report, Pollard was supposed to drop her daughter off at daycare on Friday but did not do so. She drove to work and after her work day ended she drove to a nearby Olive Garden to get some food and then finally to a Wawa convenience store in Sanford to get gas, detectives say. That’s when, at 4:30 p.m., she “ultimately became aware that her daughter was in the back seat,” WKMG reported.
Temperatures in Sanford on Friday hit a record 96 degrees according to the National Weather Service, with the stifling heat continuing on Saturday, with a high of 94.
Pollard is being held without bail.
This was the second child to die Friday in Central Florida as a result of being left in a hot car.
A 4-year-old boy was found unresponsive by a bystander Friday afternoon in a locked SUV with its engine turned off, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The SUV was in the parking lot of Elite Preparatory Elementary.
Firefighters took the boy to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orange County, where he was pronounced dead, WESH-2 reports.
Authorities haven’t released any names and are still investigating.
On Saturday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office posted a video on its Facebook page to counsel parents and guardians to be mindful of not leaving children (or animals) in an enclosed car in the Florida heat.
“When sitting in a car the temperatures can get 50 degrees higher than outside and over 80 percent of the heat increase can occur in the first 30 minutes,” warned Bill D’Aiuto of the Department of Children and Families in the video clip.
“We’ve been down this road so many times before I don’t know what else to say,” Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Williamson told the Orlando Sentinel. “We do seminars on it, the mayor’s office, the sheriff’s office do seminars, there are triggers and mechanisms in place to help you remember that a child is left in a car. It’s always sad, it’s always accidental and it’s always tragic.”