Local groups warn on dangers for kids and pets in hot cars – an accident that ‘couldn’t happen to me’

Media Advisory:
July 29, 2015

Local groups warn on dangers for kids and pets in hot cars – an accident that ‘couldn’t happen to me’
See how quickly the temperature rises inside a car on National Heatstroke Day, July 31

TAMPA— Eleven children in the United States – including three from Florida – have died this year in hot cars, after being forgotten there or accidentally getting locked inside while playing. In addition, two canine police officers have died this year after accidentally being left in their handler’s car overnight.

Many parents, caregivers and pet owners make a fatal mistake in believing this type of tragic accident could never happen to them, but it can happen to anyone.

Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Pinellas County Animal Services, SPCA Tampa Bay, Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition and Sunstar Paramedics are encouraging parents, caregivers and pet owners to take action in becoming aware of the dangers and taking active steps to prevent it.

The four groups will demonstrate how quickly a car can heat up during a joint press conference on National Heatstroke Prevention Day, July 31. Experts will explain why kids and animals are at increased risk from heatstroke injuries and death, and what steps parents can take to prevent this type of accident from happening to their child and “fur-child.” They’ll also explain what bystanders should do if they see a child or pet alone in a parked car.

Immediately following the press conference and hot car demonstration, reporters will be given the opportunity to participate in the “hot car challenge.”

  • WHAT:
    National Heatstroke Prevention Day Press Conference and Hot Car Demonstration followed by “Hot Car Challenge”

  • WHO:
    DCF Regional Managing Director Lisa Mayrose
    SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden
    Sunstar Paramedics and Suncoast Safe kids Coalition Vice-chair Charlene Cobb
    Pinellas County Animal Services Interim Director Doug Brightwell

  • WHEN:
    Friday, July 31, 2015 at 10:30 – 11 a.m.

  • WHERE:
    SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave., Largo 33773
    Enter the SPCA Tampa Bay campus by turning west onto 126th Avenue from Starkey Road and follow signs for its employee entrance or summer camps. Follow the driveway to the Ike and Libby Einherst Education Center.

CONTACT: Natalie Harrell, DCF SunCoast Communications Director, (813) 784-1898.