A mother in Yiwu City, China refused to allow firefighters to break the window of her BMW yesterday, in order to get her son out of the rising heat in her locked car, because she didn’t want to damage her expensive set of wheels. The misinformed woman wished to wait for a locksmith instead of smashing the window to save her son.
Firefighters watched in horror as oxygen levels quickly depleted with no windows open, and finally took matters into their own hands when the toddler inside began to pass out.
Onlookers watched, stunned.
One of the firefighters was quoted as saying: “It’s very dangerous to leave children inside cars, especially in such heat. It can threaten a child’s life in a very short time.”
The Washington Post reported that in 2014, at least 17 children died in the United States due to being trapped in a hot car.
In Canada in 2013, 2 children died from heat stroke inside a vehicle.
On a hot day, the temperature inside a car can reach more than 50 C in minutes, and to prove the point, one summer Toronto Police Detective Jeff Bangild baked cookies in his car.
Besides materialism and not wanting to damage a prized possession, more commonly parents commit the horrifying and tragic act of leaving a child in a car accidentally as they rush on their way to work, rush to the bathroom or try to multi-task too much around the house. Sometimes guardians become sidetracked and fall asleep, forgetting the innocent.
Occasionally, children climb into hot cars themselves and can’t get out.
Reports of children dying in extremely preventable situations are hardly bearable to witness. It’s helpful to know that this time last year in Tennessee, the roles were reversed and a toddler saved the life of an elderly man trapped in a hot vehicle.
After learning of hot car safety two days before, three-year-old Keith Williams spotted 68-year-old Bob King waiting for his wife in a church parking lot. The temperature had risen to above 50 degrees Celsius in the car while King’s wife was in a church meeting. King, a stroke sufferer, was unable to get himself out.
He banged on the windows for attention, and was spotted by the toddler walking by, who alerted the pastor at the church.
“He kept pulling at my hand and eventually I turned around and looked at him,” pastor Jack Greene told ABC News. “I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘locked, locked!’”
Greene followed Williams to the parking lot and upon seeing Mr. King trapped, opened the car.
“I was very thankful,” said King. “I don’t know how long it had been.”
Every hot car situation is preventable. If you see a person in a car on a hot day and suspect they are trapped, police advise to call 911.