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Health News Florida

Police: FL Toddler Dies After Being Left In Hot Car

Dr. Beth Walford, a pediatric surgeon at All Children's Hospital, discusses the effects of heatstroke in children at a St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue and Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition event in June 2014.
Dr. Beth Walford, a pediatric surgeon at All Children's Hospital, discusses the effects of heatstroke in children at a St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue and Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition event in June 2014.
Dr. Beth Walford, a pediatric surgeon at All Children's Hospital, discusses the effects of heatstroke in children at a St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue and Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition event in June 2014.
Credit Megan Milanese / WUSF
Dr. Beth Walford, a pediatric surgeon at All Children's Hospital, discusses the effects of heatstroke in children at a St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue and Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition event in June 2014.

Authorities say a 16-month-old north Florida girl died when her father left her in the car after forgetting to drop her off at day care.

It's the second hot car death reported in the nation in 2015, and the first in Florida. 

Columbia County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call Tuesday afternoon and found the child was unresponsive.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement identified the child's mother as Wendy Kwon, an assistant state attorney, and her father as Young Kwon, an assistant public defender.

Both are employees of Florida's 3rd Judicial Circuit, which covers a number of counties in the northern part of the state.

FDLE says that the father discovered the child when he returned home from work in the afternoon and realized he'd forgotten to drop her at day care that morning.

Neither the public defender nor state attorney was available for comment.

Florida ranks the second-highest state with the most child vehicular heatstroke deaths.

JanetteFennellis the founder of KidsAndCars.org, and offers this advice to caregivers to prevent this type of accident. 

"Just put something in the backseat, like your handbag or your employee badge, your cell phone, your lunch, something that's going to cause you to open that back door every time you arrive at your destination," Fennell said. "And we call that 'Look Before You Lock.' It's so simple, it doesn't cost a penny, and it only takes about three seconds."

She said vehicles can heat up quickly to deadly temperatures.

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