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What to Do if You See a Baby Trapped in a Hot Car


Almost everyone who owns an automobile has left something they wish they hadn't out in the car in the sun. Whether it was a CD, a box of crayons, or a chocolate bar melted into slag, they got to see how intensely hot a vehicle can get inside when it isn't even necessarily all that warm outside. Whatever the case, almost everyone knows enough not to leave anything living in a hot car. We wanted to inform you of the necessary steps to take if you do see this.

WARNING and DISCLAIMER: Please Read First

WARNING: I cannot guarantee that taking the actions recommended on this page will be legal and without consequences in all instances.'

How to Break a Car Window - if you find it necessary to save a life

  • Select the door window furthest from the baby.

  • Use a hard object such as a tire iron, wrench, or can of food (whatever is available) to break the window.

  • Choose a point in the window just above the door lock in case all you can do is make a hole.

  • It will be much harder to break than you expect but keep trying.

  • Hitting the window with the edge or pointy part of whatever object you are using may help to get the break started.

  • Wrap your sleeve or other cloth item around your hand and push into the hole you've created.

  • Reach in and unlock the door.

  • Get the infant out, car seat and all, and into the shade.

Call the Police

  • Call 911 immediately as you are checking the car doors to see if they are unlocked.

  • If a door is unlocked, open all of the car doors to cool off the interior.

  • If the baby appears to be in severe distress, remove the baby, car seat and all from the car and into the shade.

  • Stay on the line with the 911 operator detailing everything you are doing.

  • Shade the baby while waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive.

  • If the doors are locked ask the 911 operator for advice.

  • If the baby appears to be in immediate danger (the temperature outside is 90 degrees or hotter, the child appears to be unresponsive, is discolored, or in some kind of obvious distress) inform the 911 operator that you are going to break a window to get the baby out.

  • Stay on the line with the 911 operator.

  • Break a window as described above.

Dealing With Angry Parents or Guardians

  • If an angry parent or guardian shows up before police, leave the baby in the shade and back away.

  • Inform the parent or guardian that the police are on their way.

  • Stay on the line with the 911 operator.

  • If you fear for your safety, retreat but try to stay in sight of the situation and give the 911 operator the vehicle's license plate number and description as well as a description of the hostile adult.

  • If you do not have a cell phone, retreat to the nearest business and get someone to call 911.

  • Keep in mind that the life of a baby is at stake. Dealing with an angry adult is a small price to pay for a life.

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