Can You Bust A Car Window In ND To Save An Infant From Heatstroke?
Every year about 50 children across America die from excessive heat in vehicles.
I still remember the eerie sounds of police, fire, and ambulance sirens racing toward a popular Grand Forks daycare one hot summer afternoon. It was just after 5 o'clock and I was heading to a softball game. What happened that day shocked our city.
A mother forgot that her infant was in the back of her minivan as she went to work that day. When she went to pick up her daughter at daycare after work, she soon realized the horror of what happened. The child was dead in the back of her vehicle. You can read more about that here.
I remember sitting around with the guys on my team wondering how any parent could do something like that. It really stuck with me as I was a new father myself. This happened back in June of 2006 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My son was born on June 8th, 2004. He'll be 19 years old tomorrow.
I later learned that parents forgetting infants in vehicles is much more common than I thought.
If I'm being honest it could've happened to me. You see my child would frequently fall asleep while I was driving. There was definitely a time or two when I forget he was in the back of my truck. THANKFULLY, I always put my briefcase in the backseat next to him. A little trick experts say to help you remember your child is with you. Put your purse, phone, or anything else that will cause you to remember your child after you strap them in their car seat.
We're expecting another brutally hot day in Bismarck today with temps in the lower 90s.
According to Cafe Mom, it can take just 15 minutes for a child in a hot car to suffer life-threatening brain or kidney injuries. That's about how long it could take you to run into Cash Wise to grab some groceries. NEVER leave your child behind in your vehicle without you. EVER! Even for a few moments. Even with a cracked window, the car will still heat up to dangerous levels quickly.
So, what should you do if you were ever to run across an infant who appears to be in a dangerous situation in a vehicle?
Is it legal to break a window to rescue the child in North Dakota? It is in some states, but not in North Dakota. I spoke to a Bismarck Police officer recently to discuss the possibility.
The officer told me you should do the following. Assess the situation. Is the car running? Is the air conditioning running? Then call 911. If the child appears to be in a dire situation you will then have to make a decision. I know what I would do. I would save the child.
It would ultimately come down to if you had justification as to why you felt the child was in immediate danger. You could be on the hook however for the damage to the vehicle depending on the situation.
Video courtesy of RedCastle Crusade YouTube Channel.
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