An 18-month-old child is hospitalized and in stable condition after being left in a hot car for hours Tuesday on Hawthorne Court in Yulee in Nassau County.
His 25-year-old mother is charged with child neglect, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the second time in two days a Northeast Florida child overheated in an unattended car, law enforcement officials said.
Sheriff Bill Leeper said Michelle Lee King of Yulee was arrested after her son was left for about four hours.
King took her husband to work in Jacksonville, accompanied by her 6-year-old son and twin 18-month-old son and daughter, Leeper said. When they came home at about 6:30 a.m., she got her young daughter and went inside to sleep, the older boy coming in with them.
“She forgets her 18-month-old son, still in the car seat,” Leeper said. “She goes to sleep and between 10 and 10:30 a.m., the boy goes to the car to get something, sees his brother, takes him into the house, wakes his mother up and tells her something is wrong with his brother.”
“By the time they got there the mother was trying to cool the child off,” Fire Rescue Chief Matt Graves added.
The 18-month-old boy had a temperature of 103 degrees when found, and is in stable condition at UF Health Jacksonville, Leeper said.
Leeper and Graves said this is the first time to their knowledge that a child has been left in a hot car in Nassau County this summer.
Vivian Guo, 49, was charged with child neglect on Sunday after a sweating 5-year-old child was found inside her hot car in the Costco parking lot at 4901 Gate Parkway, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. On June 18 in Marietta, Ga., a 22-month-old boy died after he was left in a car seat by his father, Justin Ross Harris, for seven hours.
Police have charged Harris with murder and second-degree child cruelty in the death of his son, Cooper.
Florida Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell confirmed that they are looking into this incident, saying he is “alarmed” that a local child was left in a hot car for the second time in three days.
“This has to stop,” Harrell said. “You have had hundreds of deaths of children left in hot cars around the nation over the past 15 years.”
Harrell said this is the fifth time a child has been left in a hot car locally this year.
Leeper said a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s in the heat. Temperatures can reach 125 degrees in minutes inside a parked car. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle and never overlook sleeping babies, he warned.
Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549