ODESSA, TX- Four members of the Odessa Fire Department worked for about 15 minutes Wednesday at 519 N. Grant Ave. to open a locked Jeep with a baby inside before an employee with Pop-A-Lock® arrived and opened the door in a few seconds.
The mother of the child said the car locked after she finished strapping her child into her car seat located behind the driver’s seat. With keys sitting in the front, the mother said she closed the back door and tried to open the driver door, only to find it locked.
The child, a girl less than 1-year-old, sat in her seat with a small-battery operated fan blowing cool air on her. Firefighters were asking the mother about possibly breaking a window to get to the child when an employee with Pop-A-Lock showed up and quickly unlocked the vehicle. Firefighters then took the child out and quickly checked her vitals and determined she was OK.
The mother was not cited because the incident was accidental. Karen Walsh, a family nurse practitioner, said that children left in a vehicle can suffer from hyperthermia, a condition where the body gets too hot, or from heat stroke. “They get red skin, rapid pulse and older children might complain about nausea and vomit,” Walsh said.
How quickly a child begins to show symptoms depends on three things: the temperature outside, the temperature inside the vehicle and how hydrated the child is to begin with. And with the recent string of triple-digit weather, it doesn’t take long for vehicles to get hot. “It can happen pretty quickly,” Walsh said.
With time a factor, the mother said she immediately called emergency personnel who in turn called Pop-A-Lock®.
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