MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A 3-year-old boy died after being left in a car outside a South Florida preschool where both his parents are staff members, police said.
According to the newspaper, police said it appears the father, who was driving the car, accidentally left the child locked inside it early Monday as the family made its way into the school.
Temperatures outside were in the mid-90s Fahrenheit. The unresponsive child was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The boy’s father was being interviewed by police late Monday to determine whether the death was an accident, the Herald reported.
“This tragedy hits close to home, and many in our school community have been affected by it. No words can capture the heartbreak and sadness we feel,” Rabbi Benzion Korf, the center’s dean, said in a short statement issued late Monday.
Korf said a therapist and grief counselor would be available for staff and students at the center on Tuesday.
According to the National Safety Council, 38 children die every year from being left in a hot car. Experts say a child's body heats up 3-5 times faster than an adult and car temperatures can rise 19 degrees in 10 minutes.
If you see a child inside a locked car, you're protected under Florida law to respond. If possible, open the door, take the child out of the car and call 911. If the door is locked, grab a pointed object like a rock and go to the opposite window of where the child is and hit the corner of the window to break it in.
10 Tampa Bay's Andrea Chu contributed to this report.