Hot, Parked Cars Deadly For Children - 8 News NOW

Hot, Parked Cars Deadly For Children

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LAS VEGAS -- As the weather heats up, officials have a life-and-death warning.

Eleven Nevadan children have died over the last 15 years while being trapped in a hot car.

Even with the window cracked, a car is like an oven inside this time of year.

Twelve years ago, Jody Esposito made a devastating discovery. Her 5-year-old son, Michael, was trapped in her car's trunk.

"I don't want anybody to go through the grief we're going through," Esposito said.

Michael was playing hide-and-seek while the family was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Missing only for minutes, the sweltering trunk proved too much for the little boy.

"I live through him, and same with my mother, she lives through my brother," Michael's brother, Tony Esposito, said.

Tony Esposito was 13 when his brother died.

"It was tough," Tony said. "I didn't really get death then."

The family is sharing their story to raise awareness that parked cars can kill.

The inside of a car can quickly become a death trap. Especially on a hot Las Vegas day. On Thursday, the temperature was 85.3 degrees, but inside a car, it was 138 degrees, enough to quickly case heatstroke.

"In Las Vegas, we have a terrible issue of parents leaving their kids unattended in cars," Safe Kids Director Jeanne Marsala said. "Part of the problem is that they don't realize how quickly the heat rises."

Clark County assistant fire chief Sandra Baker said time is of the essence and a hot car can be deadly.

"If you see a child in a car by themselves, don't assume anybody's coming back," Baker said. "Call 911 immediately."

The Esposito family vows Michael's death won't be in vain.

"If Michael's tragedy and our loss can save another child's life, Michael's memory is living on," Jody Esposito said.

When children are left in hot cars, 18 percent are left on purpose; 29 percent of the time the child is playing; and about the half time, they are forgotten.

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