Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 21-8-29

Date: Aug. 25, 2021

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Temperatures inside a car can heat up by 50 degrees or more within 30 minutes. On a hot day in South Florida, the results can be fatal. Special guest Melanie Brocato, a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue life safety educator, joins Sheriff Gregory Tony on the Shop Talk with the Sheriff podcast to talk about the dangers of leaving a child in a locked vehicle; what to do if you witness it; and the leading causes for a parent or caregiver to leave a child alone in a car. 

“Florida is the second highest state in reported number of deaths for this particular type of situation,” Brocato said. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 900 children nationwide have tragically died of heatstroke since 1998. To date, 14 deaths have been reported in 2021.

“All parents or caregivers say, ‘That’s not going to happen to me; who does that?’” Brocato said. “However, the biggest contributing factor for parents who unknowingly leave their child in a car is stress.” 

Below are some reminders to ensure this doesn’t happen to you: 

- Leave a purse, shoe or cellphone in the back seat as a reminder.
- Avoid distractions.
- Set your GPS to the babysitter/daycare address even if you know how to get there.
- Set alarm/reminder on your phone.
- Use technology in your vehicle if you have it (some GM and Kia vehicles have technology that reminds you to check the back seat or alert you when the car is off and someone is in the back seat).
- Purchase a car seat that has a built-in alarm which notifies you if a child is in the car seat and the car is turned off (Evenflo).

Listen to the latest Shop Talk with the Sheriff podcast for free here or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, Breaker, Overcast, RadioPublic and Castbox. 
If you are interested in submitting questions or topics to discuss on an episode, please send a direct message via Facebook (@BrowardSheriffsOffice), Twitter (@browardsheriff), Instagram (@BrowardSheriffsOffice) or email the questions to

Gerdy St. Louis/PIO