Summer starts June 21 and local advocates warn about hot car dangers for children and pets

Media Advisory:
June 20, 2017

Beatriz Lopez, Department of Children and Families, Southern Region, (305) 345-8407
Lt. Yosdany Veloz, Florida Highway Patrol, Troop E, (305) 308-0586
Paige Patterson-Hughes, Department of Children and Families, Southeast Region, (954) 410-3931

Summer starts June 21 and local advocates warn about hot car dangers for children and pets
June 22 demonstrations show how fast temperature rises in vehicle

What: Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Miami Fire-Rescue, OurKids and ChildNet are joining together to promote vehicle safety and show the dangers of leaving children and pets in hot vehicles. Reporters can experience how quickly a car can heat up during the joint press event.

Experts will explain why children, vulnerable persons and pets face increased dangers of heatstroke injuries and death when left inside of hot vehicles, along with steps that can be taken to prevent these accidents from occurring. They also can explain the state’s law that enables bystanders to take action if they find a child, vulnerable person or pet left in a hot vehicle.

When: Thursday, June 22, 2017, at 10 a.m.

Where: Florida Highway Patrol, 1011 N.W. 111 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33172
(Participation in hot car demonstrations and interviews will take place following the press conference).

Why: DCF’s Child Fatality Prevention Website shows that two children in Florida, including a child in Miami-Dade County, have lost their lives this year in hot car-related tragedies. With warmer temperatures already here, summer beginning June 21 and the Fourth of July holiday around the corner, it’s imperative that safety and precautions are used to ensure that no child, vulnerable person or pet is left in a hot vehicle. Impaired drivers can also compound these situations.

Visual Opportunities: A thermometer will be set up inside and outside of a car to demonstrate how quickly a car’s interior heats up and can become dangerous for occupants. Reporters can participate in the demonstration to experience how quickly the car heats up. Miami Fire-Rescue will be on hand to monitor the demonstrations and also discuss the risks and dangers of hot cars, along with the other agencies.

Interview Opportunities: DCF Deputy Regional Managing Director and Community Development Director Gilda Ferradaz; DCF Circuit 17 Community Development Administrator Silvia Beebe; FHP Lt. Yosdany Veloz,; Capt. Ignatius Carroll, City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue, Public Information Officer; Marcel Rivas, Director of Program Operations for OurKids; and Kenny Brighton, Director of Community Relations, ChildNet.