Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.

Keep Your Kids Out of Hot Cars

It might seem obvious to experienced parents and caregivers that it’s dangerous to leave a child in a hot car, but dozens of hot car deaths still occur every year. In fact, many of these deaths occur not because the parents were ignorant of the dangers, but because the exhausted parents simply forgot that they had kids in the backseat. This summer, the emergency care team at Southern Hills Hospital strongly urges parents throughout Las Vegas to become proactive about preventing deadly heatstroke in their children.

Understanding the Risks

There is no “safe” amount of time to leave a child in a parked car. Children can suffer heatstroke very quickly and will die when their body temperature is elevated to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the temperature inside a car can rise more than 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. When the temperature outside is just 60 degrees, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 110 degrees.

Keeping Your Child Safe

There is an increased risk of leaving a child in the backseat when parents change their schedules or are particularly exhausted. Ask the daycare provider or preschool teacher to call you if your child does not arrive at the usual time. Place important items like your purse, briefcase, or cell phone in the backseat with your child to reduce the possibility that you’ll leave without checking the backseat. Some parents also like to place a stuffed animal in the front seat whenever their child is in the backseat to serve as a visual reminder.

Keeping Other Children Safe

If you notice a child in a parked car without an adult nearby and the child appears to be in distress, call 911 immediately. Then, get the child out of the car and spray him or her with cool water. If a child is left alone in a car but does not appear to be in distress, wait no longer than a couple of minutes for the adult to return before calling 911. Always stay with the child until help arrives.

In the event that emergency care for heatstroke is required this summer, the team at Southern Hills Hospital is always standing by to initiate life-saving interventions. In addition to our emergency care, our community hospital in Las Vegas provides orthopedic surgery, geriatric psychiatry, and stroke care. Direct all medical emergencies to 911; non-emergent inquiries about our hospital services can be directed to (702) 880-2700.