A Pasco County man is accused of leaving three children in a hot car Friday while he shopped for diapers.
The man is charged with child neglect for the incident that occurred in a Wesley Chapel Publix parking lot.
Deputies said the children–ages 6, 4, and 1–were locked in the car with the window rolled up for 15 minutes.
Deputies said the children were sweating and warm to the touch. They were not injured.
When deputies made contact with the man, he said he was only going to be in the store for a minute, so he left the kids in the vehicle.
He was arrested and booked into the Pasco County jail.
Every year, accidental deaths occur when children are left inside cars. According to reports, 735 children have died from being left in cars that overheated since 1998. Thus far for 2017, 35 children have died of heatstroke after being left inside vehicles. Last year, 39 children died of heatstroke in hot cars. All of these deaths could have been prevented. Most of these deaths are caused by lack of attention, which means that vehicular heatstroke can be a wrongful death case.
There are three primary circumstances that lead to children being left in hot cars:
- The child was forgotten in the car.
- The child was playing unattended inside a car without the knowledge of the caregiver.
- The child was intentionally left inside the car generally while the adult ran an errand.