LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — This weekend is the unofficial start to summer and one thing that is certain is it will be hot.
The national organization ‘Kids in Cars’ is reminding parents of the dangers of leaving their kids inside hot cars.
Today, they put the Clark County Safe Kids van out on display to demonstrate how extreme the heat can get inside while it still feels fine outside.
A display board showing the temperatures inside and outside the van was on display for a Friday morning event and will be on display this weekend in front of Smith’s on the south side of the entrance.
Kids and Cars, the national organization that tracks in-vehicle deaths in the country, shows Nevada is ranked 20th in the nation for deaths involving children in cars and heat.
“When the temperature outside is 100 degrees, it can reach 140 degrees in the vehicle within 15 to 20 minutes. That is not compatible with a child’s life,” said Jeanne Marsala, RN, Director of Safe Kids at Sunrise Children’s Hospital.
In the past 25 years, 16 children have died due to heat exposure. The highest states are Texas and Florida at 133 and 97 respectively. There are 14 states who have had less than 5 children die in the same time frame, and two, Alaska and Vermont who have had none.
Heat is not the only danger to children left unattended in cars. In Nevada, it is illegal to leave a child under age 7 unattended for any reason. Commissioner Michael Naft joined the vent as both a decision-maker and a new father.
In other parts of the country, there are reports currently that parents have been leaving their children alone in the car to “dash in” and get a few things because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Clark County, this is not the case, as EMS records show fewer calls for children left in cars from March of this year through May 17 at 102, than March through May of 2019 at 197.
None of the cases required the children to be transported to the hospital.
Though we will not see the huge number of tourists that mark a normal Memorial Day in Las Vegas, there are still plenty of valley residents who are capable of making bad decisions, putting others at risk so these are helpful reminders.