Jul 22, 2014 8:38 PM by Lauren Reimer

How to rescue a child locked inside a hot car

TUCSON - You've heard the headlines about children being left in hot cars. It's happened far too many times already this year.

Most recently in our area, an 11-month old Tucson boy was left in a car outside his home on Friday. He is still in the hospital.

So far nationwide there have been 13 heatstroke deaths involving kids in cars. Four other cases are still pending a medical examiner's report.

Getting left in a hot car can be deadly to pets, too.

Picture this; you come across a locked car in a parking lot. Inside there's a child. It's 105 degrees outside, but in the car, nearly 150.

You call 9-1-1. But the child needs help now.

"This is a desperate time and that calls for desperate measures. So really there's no rules. It is getting in that car as quickly as you can," said Captain Barrett Baker with the Tucson Fire Department.

He explains, you may want to look for a tool like a tire iron, to break a window. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do this.

"Most people are going to hit a window here in the center," explained Firefighter Cam Welander. "And that's probably you're most likely to get a shot where it rebounds. If you want to be effective with a tool like this you're going to want to hit it down on the lower corners."

You could also use a spring loaded punch, or a special hammer, both handy tools, considering Arizona ranks fourth for heat related vehicular deaths.

Baker said, "This happens on accident a majority of the time, and it doesn't matter if it's on purpose or on accident, the effects on the child are still the same"

Of the top five states, Arizona is the only one not to have laws addressing kids intentionally left in cars, according to the advocacy group KidsandCars.Org. Fifteen other states have them too. There was an effort to pass a bill here in Arizona, but it never made it out of the House.

And if you do need to break a window on a car to save a child, pick one opposite of where the child is sitting, so you don't hit them with shards when the glass breaks.


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