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Medical professionals remind parents to keep kids safe as cars heat up in Las Vegas

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 21:45:13-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As temperatures continue to rise across the country, these warm days are great to be outside and in the pool but can be deadly inside cars.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids Clark County, Las Vegas City Councilman Brian Knudsen, Clark County Fire Department, and MedicWest joined together today for a live rescue demonstration to remind caregivers to never leave children alone in cars and to alert the community to take action.

Last year alone, the Clark County 911 system received over 300 calls for children locked in cars.

“These tragedies happen far too often. They are heartbreaking and preventable, and a reminder for all of us to be aware of the dangers of leaving a child alone in a hot car,” said CEO of Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital Todd P. Sklamberg.

“Many people are shocked to learn how hot the inside of a car can actually get. On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside of a car can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes and the heat keeps increasing with each passing minute. You can only imagine what happens when the temperature outside is 100 degrees or more. And cracking the window does not help.”

Heatstroke sets in when the body is unable to cool itself quickly enough. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, making them more susceptible to heatstroke. When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down, and when that temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.

“Leaving a child in a hot car often happens when we get out of our usual routine or are sleep deprived,” said Jeanne Marsala, RN, Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator, Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital, and Director, Safe Kids Clark County. “This can happen to anyone which is why it’s so important we educate the community to prevent it.”

This event was held today in conjunction with National EMS Week, a week highlighting just a small part of the critical and lifesaving role EMS plays in this community and throughout the entire country.

The key to preventing these tragedies is for every parent and caregiver to understand that the accident of leaving a child in a hot care and its potentially deadly consequences can happen to anybody. This can be avoided by generating awareness and taking a few simple precautions.

Safe Kids is asking everyone to help protect kids by remembering to ACT:

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Make sure to keep your car locked when you are not in it so kids do not get in on their own.

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

For more information on preventing child heatstroke deaths please visit www.safekids.org/heatstroke.