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Posted: July 15, 2014

Viral video: Woman locks herself in hot car to raise awareness

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By Alyana Gomez

ActionNewsJax – Jacksonville, Fla.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. —

A Florida woman never thought she'd be showing the world how it feels to be locked in a hot car with the windows up.

Chelsi Bedell of Fernandina Beach said she could barely handle 30 minutes, not even a quarter of the four hours that deputies say an 18-month-old child from Yulee had to endure last week.

>> FLORIDA: Baby boy left in hot car for hours outside home

"I think it's carelessness," Bedell said.

Michelle King, the mother of the Yulee boy, was taken in by deputies. She's now facing child neglect charges. 

>> PENNSYLVANIA: Police: Grandmother left 5-year-old in hot car for hours

Bedell said that incident was the driving force behind her decision to try the "hot car challenge," post it on Facebook, and encourage her friends and family to do the same, all to raise awareness. 

The viral video is also getting some negative feedback.

>> GEORGIA: Dad facing charges after good Samaritan saves baby from hot car

One person wrote, "There has to be a better way to spread awareness with this."

Another comment read, "This challenge isnt smart at all, people are going to put their lives at risk."

>> GEORGIA: Focus shifts to mother of toddler in hot car death

"I thought it was fine. It was all in good intentions. I wasn't putting myself in harm's way. Some people may think so. Some don't," Bedell said.

"It was very powerful," state Rep. Janet Adkins said of the video.

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She is on board with addressing the issue, even if it means stiffer penalties for parents.

"That's something we need to look at. I've asked my staff to research what are the various penalties, and obviously it depends on the outcome of the situation.  But our office will be looking into this," Adkins said.

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