Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill into law that aims to protect children from hot car deaths. The legislation, which received bipartisan support, requires childcare facilities to implement safety measures to prevent children from being left unattended in hot vehicles. This move comes in response to a growing concern over the number of fatalities and injuries caused by hot car incidents across the state.

Background on Hot Car Deaths

Every year, children across the United States tragically die from being left in hot cars. According to KidsAndCars.org, an organization that tracks hot car deaths, there were 53 such fatalities in 2018, and 24 children have died in hot cars in 2019. Florida has consistently ranked among the top states with the highest number of reported incidents.

The inside of a car can turn deadly in a matter of minutes, even on relatively mild days. When left unattended in a hot vehicle, a child's body temperature can rise three to five times faster than that of an adult's, leading to heatstroke, dehydration, and potentially death.

The New Legislation

The bill signed by Governor DeSantis puts in place several provisions aimed at preventing hot car deaths. Childcare facilities, including daycare centers and schools, are now required to implement safety protocols to ensure that no child is left unattended in a vehicle. This includes the installation of alarms or other safety devices that provide an alert if a child is left in a vehicle.

Additionally, the legislation mandates that childcare providers undergo training to recognize and prevent situations where a child may be left in a hot car. This training will focus on raising awareness about the dangers of hot cars and providing strategies to avoid such incidents.

The new law also includes provisions for reporting incidents. Childcare facilities are required to develop and implement a policy for reporting any instance where a child is found unattended in a vehicle. This reporting system aims to improve accountability and ensure that immediate actions are taken to safeguard the child's well-being.

Support for the Legislation

The legislation received widespread support from both lawmakers and advocacy groups. Proponents of the bill argue that it is a critical step toward preventing unnecessary tragedies and safeguarding the well-being of Florida's children. State Representative Emily Slosberg, who sponsored the bill, emphasized the importance of implementing measures to protect children from hot car deaths, stating, "We need to do whatever we can to prevent these tragic and preventable deaths."

Advocacy groups, such as KidsAndCars.org, have also voiced their support for the new law. They have been instrumental in raising awareness about the dangers of hot cars and advocating for legislation to address this issue. Janette Fennell, the president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, commended Governor DeSantis for signing the bill and emphasized the importance of continued efforts to prevent hot car deaths.

Impact on Childcare Facilities

The new law has significant implications for childcare facilities across Florida. Daycare centers, preschools, and other providers of childcare services are now tasked with implementing the necessary safety measures to comply with the legislation. This includes investing in alarms or safety devices that can prevent children from being left unattended in vehicles.

Additionally, childcare providers will need to allocate resources for training their staff on how to recognize and prevent hot car incidents. This training will be crucial in raising awareness and ensuring that all personnel are equipped to respond effectively and swiftly to any potential dangers.

While these requirements may entail initial investments and adjustments for childcare facilities, the overall impact is expected to be positive. By prioritizing the safety and well-being of children, these measures will ultimately contribute to creating a safer environment for the young individuals under their care.

Public Awareness and Education

Beyond the legislative measures, there is a broader emphasis on raising public awareness and education about the dangers of hot cars. The implementation of the new law is accompanied by efforts to inform parents, guardians, and the general public about the risks associated with leaving children unattended in vehicles.

Public education campaigns and initiatives will play a critical role in reinforcing the importance of vigilance and responsibility when it comes to safeguarding children from hot car incidents. By promoting a culture of awareness and accountability, these efforts seek to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies occurring in the future.

Partnerships between government agencies, advocacy groups, and community organizations will be instrumental in disseminating information and resources to ensure that the message reaches a wide audience. Through educational outreach, individuals can become more informed about the potential dangers and adopt proactive measures to prevent hot car incidents.

Continuous Efforts and Vigilance

While the new legislation represents a significant step forward in addressing hot car deaths, ongoing efforts and vigilance are essential to achieving comprehensive prevention. The law sets a crucial foundation for mitigating risks and promoting child safety, but continued attention to this issue is paramount.

Childcare facilities will need to maintain compliance with the requirements outlined in the legislation and continuously review their safety protocols to ensure effectiveness. Regular training and education for staff members are essential components of sustaining a proactive approach to preventing hot car incidents.

Likewise, public awareness campaigns should remain a focal point in promoting responsible behavior and emphasizing the importance of never leaving children unattended in vehicles. By reinforcing this message and providing accessible resources, the goal is to create a collective understanding of the risks and encourage a community-wide commitment to safeguarding children.


The enactment of the new legislation in Florida signifies a significant milestone in addressing the urgency of preventing hot car deaths involving children. By mandating safety measures and increasing awareness, the state is taking critical steps to protect the well-being of its youngest residents.

The impact of the legislation extends beyond compliance requirements for childcare facilities; it represents a fundamental commitment to prioritizing child safety and preventing avoidable tragedies. The collaboration between legislators, advocacy groups, and the public underscores a shared dedication to addressing this pressing issue.

As the implementation of the new law unfolds, the focus will be on fostering a culture of vigilance, accountability, and education within the community. By remaining cognizant of the risks and taking proactive measures, Florida aims to reduce the incidence of hot car deaths and create a safer environment for its children. The significance of these efforts cannot be overstated, as they reinforce the collective responsibility to ensure the well-being of future generations.

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