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FL Leads in Hot Car Deaths this Year

So far this year, 15 children have died in the U.S. after they were accidentally left behind in hot cars. Florida has had four of those deaths, more than any other state. 

"We're at a high point for this time of year as far as how many deaths have happened," said Amber Rollins, director of, a national advocacy group focused on preventing non-traffic fatalities. "It has so far been a very bad year." 

According to Rollins, 2010 was the worst year, with a total of 49 children who died from heatstroke inside vehicles.

"It can happen to the most loving, caring, responsible educated people," Rollins said.  "When our brains are stressed out and not getting enough sleep and there's a change in routine, we just don't function as we normally would.That's how an otherwise caring, attentive, responsible parent could forget." 

Rollins advises parents and caregivers to put their belongings in the backseat with their child so they're forced to go back there each time.  

Florida ranks second-highest with the number of children who have died in hot cars since 1998. The state of Texas has had the most. 

Copyright 2013 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Lottie Watts covers health and health policy for Health News Florida, now a part of WUSF Public Media. She also produces Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.
Lottie Watts
Lottie Watts is our Florida Mattersproducer, and she also covers health and health policy for Health News Florida.