Infant was sweating and shaking inside locked car, and owner was not around
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It was 75 degrees Wednesday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C., a nice day to be out and about.
But inside a closed vehicle in a Walmart parking lot, that pleasant 75 degrees can be transformed into an extreme temperature.
So when a shopper putting her children into a shopping cart heard a baby crying, she looked around and found a child strapped in a back seat of a van, with the windows closed and the doors locked. The six-month-old was sweating, she said. When she could not open the van to give the child some air, she immediately called employees for help.
When police, the store manager and a co-manager got to the van they saw the child sweating and shaking. The owner of the vehicle was not to be found, and time is of the essence in such a situation. An employee smashed a rear window of the van and was able to reach in, unlock the carseat strap and pull the child out. Police said the employee described the car seat as “soaked in sweat,” according to Fox News. EMS arrived and transported the child to a local hospital.
Fox said that according to the incident report the child’s father told police he was supposed to be dropping her off with her mother, but became distracted and never did so, proceeding on to Walmart and forgetting the baby was inside the vehicle. He told police he had been up since 1 a.m. and hadn’t slept since, the report states.
“We cannot stress enough the importance that parents always check their cars and have their children with them at all times while at our stores,” Walmart said in a statement. “We’re grateful this baby wasn’t hurt and that the quick thinking of our associates and local emergency crews helped prevent the situation from taking a tragic turn.”
“A car heats up fairly quickly,” Safe Kids Spartanburg Coordinator Penny Shaw told CBS. “The car is going to heat up 10 degrees every 20 minutes. That is why it’s very dangerous. It can get up to over 115 degrees inside the car in the early summer.”
Shaw says that’s why it’s important to never leave children or pets inside a car, even if it’s just for a few minutes. “You may get in that Walmart right there and say, ‘Oh I see a sale. Let me stop and look at that and that 10 minute run in may turn into 45 minutes,” Shaw said.
And there’s no guarantee that a concerned bystander will be there to intervene.