Parents Warned About Dangers of Kids in Hot Vehicles

LAS VEGAS - With temperatures reaching triple digits in Las Vegas, authorities are issuing a warning to parents about leaving their children in hot vehicles. Not only can children suffer irreparable harm in a matter of seconds, it's also illegal.

The idea a parent would leave a small child in a hot car is unfathomable to parent Jasmine Wymer.

"How could you possibly leave your children unattended for the slightest second, even thirty seconds? It's inexcusable," she said. "Leaving the windows down, you know, somebody could come by and snatch your kids."

Jasmine says her three children might as well be her shadows, because they're always in sight. With the arrival of summer, doctors hope car safety isn't an oversight. Sunrise Children's Hospital is already seeing heat related symptoms.

"We see kids that come in that are even unconscious. They're vomiting, dizzy, need fluids and resuscitation," said Sunrise Children's Hospital emergency room physician Sandra Cetl.

Cetl says kids are more vulnerable to heat, because of their size. Doctors say it's even common for them to treat kids with first, second or third degree burns from the metal rings on seatbelts.

"Heat exhaustion and heat stroke and leaving kids in a car; it's one hundred percent preventable," Cetl said.

Leaving children unattended in hot cars is also a felony. Metro Police say you could face murder and child neglect charges, but they hope the law isn't your biggest incentive.

"Don't do it, because you could face criminal charges," said Metro Police Officer Jose Hernandez. "Do it, because your children are important, your children are precious to you and your children's lives are at stake."

Whether it's getting in or out of the car, Wymer knows the drill is always simple. "You can't leave them even for a slight second no matter who's around," she said.

In 2010, 48 children died torturous deaths as a result of being left in hot cars.


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