Kid, heat, car keys - DANGER
A friend of mine who works at a daycare center e-mailed me with an interesting account of something that happened there yesterday. I told her that I would post it on my blog for the "whole world" to read as a public service announcement.
Today at work, a woman came and picked up her sixteen-month-old, carried the child (holding her car keys) to the car, strapped her into her carseat, and, hoping to avoid a tantrum until the last possible second, let the child continue holding the car keys while she got herself into the car, intending to reach back and retrieve them after sitting down and buckling her own seatbelt.
In the split second between the mother shutting the back door and opening the front door, the child pushed the "lock" button on the remote. The heat index here today was something like 110 deg F. (43 deg. C.).
The mother at first tried to get the child to unlock the door, but the little girl laughed and threw the keys onto the floor. The mom ran back to the building, and we called 911. It took five minutes for the police to respond, and then they said that due to some kind of civil-liberties b.s. from our buddy Dubya, they were not allowed to have "Slim Jims" anymore. They didn't want to break the window except as a last resort, because they were afraid of injuring the baby with flying glass. They wanted to wait for the fire department to arrive; apparently the fire department still has "Slim Jims." It took another five minutes for the fire department to get there. They tried the "Slim Jim." No luck. They tried a very long, fluorescent plastic thingy, which didn't work either. The director of the center ran inside to look for a hammer, because we were all starting to think about those ads that say how your dog can die in a hot car in something like fifteen minutes, even WITH the window cracked (the windows of the car in question were fully closed; fortunately the woman had parked in the shade, but it was still f#@*%+# HOT). I have a rescue hammer in my minivan, and mentioned that, and we were just on our way to get it when, after nearly ten minutes of trying, the fire department guys were able to pop the lock on one of the doors and get the baby (who was sweating profusely and not all that happy, but fully alert and apparently none the worse for wear) out of the vehicle. Fortunately, our staff R.N. and L.P.N., and a parent who is a doctor were all standing by; they took the child inside and put ice packs under her armpits, and gave her a bottle of Pedialyte. Everybody neglected the front desk and swarmed into the nursing center sniffling and cursing the useless police and our idiot president, and assuring the distraught mother that we had all, countless times, done pretty much the same thing.
Never again. My kids aren't touching my car keys until they are old enough to drive. Maybe not even then. And don't you let yours, either.
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