Florida Designates April as Child Car Safety Awareness Month

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially declared April as ‘Child Car Safety Awareness Month’ to draw attention to the risks of leaving children unattended in vehicles.

The declaration comes as part of HB 591, signed into law by Governor DeSantis, with the aim of raising awareness about the dangers of leaving children alone in cars.

House Representative Michelle Salzman, R-Pensacola, emphasized the importance of awareness in preventing tragedies, not only in hot cars but also in understanding the risks of leaving cars unlocked during hot Florida summers.

The new law, known as “Ariya’s Act,” is named after 10-month-old Ariya Paige, who tragically passed away last July after being left in a hot car for five hours by her babysitter.

State Senator Robert Brannan, R-Lake City, highlighted the advocacy of Ariya’s family in pushing for the law to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

Florida Designates April as Child Car Safety Awareness Month

The legislation aims to educate the public about the dangers and consequences of leaving children unattended in vehicles through a statewide initiative involving state and local leaders.

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During April, various state agencies such as the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will host events to educate parents and adults on how to respond if a child is left unattended in a vehicle.

The bill will take effect on July 1, 2024, providing time for awareness campaigns and preparation for its implementation.

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