For the third time in as many years, a South Florida child was left in a daycare van during a hot summer day, this time with tragic results. The Miami Herald reports that on Wednesday, August 1, a four-year-old boy was left is a closed SUV for more than two hours by the twenty-year-old daughter of a Sunrise, Florida daycare operator. That operator was allegedly trying to avoid discovery by child care licensing officials of the fact that she was caring for more children than her license allowed.
According to KidsAndCars.org, on average 38 children die in hot cars every year in the United States. So far this year, 16 children have died from heatstroke after being locked in a vehicle. Having brought a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of another child victim of daycare negligence involving a locked van, the South Florida injury lawyers at Grossman Roth, P.A., were hopeful that changes would be made that would avoid this very preventable tragedy. The events of this week show that there is still a great deal of work to do. “When the lives of children are at stake, we need to be absolutely certain that child safety really is coming first,” said Grossman Roth partner Andrew Yaffa during the last such incident. That truth of that admonition was re-emphasized this week.
In August 2010, another child spent more than seven hours alone in a van used by a child care facility, ultimately succumbing to temperatures that reached more than 130 degrees. “The rules that are already in place must be followed—and we need new ones to supplement them. That a driver can walk off a bus or van without realizing that there is still a child strapped in a seat is a real cause for alarm—and reform,” Yaffa said at the time. Among other failings, the employees of that daycare center did not conduct a visual sweep of the daycare vehicle before and after transporting children.
KidsAndCars.org offers some common sense advice for preventing these kinds of tragedies.
- Safety tips from KidsAndCars.org.