A Duncanville police officer and concerned resident are credited with saving the life of an infant found locked in a hot SUV earlier this week.
The officer arrived just after 5 p.m. Monday in response to a call from a person concerned about a child left alone in a vehicle in the 900 block of Gemini Avenue in Duncanville, when temperatures hovered in the low 90s.
Video posted by the department shows the officer confirming that the infant was in a locked, bronze-colored SUV. The baby, in a car seat, was crying, sweating and covered in vomit, police said.
After calling for paramedics, the officer shattered a window of the vehicle and secured the crying child.
“It’s OK, it’s OK,” he said as he undid the car seat straps. “I know, I know. I’m sorry.”
Police determined that the baby’s mother, grandmother and two older siblings had all arrived at the parking lot in the SUV.
Wrong assumptions and poor communication about the infant’s well-being appeared to be to blame, police said.
The case has been referred to Child Protective Services and to a Dallas County grand jury for possible civil or criminal action.
“During the trying times, which we’ve all experienced these last several months, coupled with school-aged children either already having returned to school or who are about to return to some semblance of school, parents and caregivers are stressed,” Duncanville police said in a prepared statement.
“We implore everyone to please slow down, especially those with very young children, and account for those who cannot do for themselves,” the statement read.
Hot weather tips
Temperatures inside closed vehicles can become dangerously hot even on mild days, police warn. Heat from the sun is absorbed and trapped, creating a baking effect.
For example, a sunny, 70-degree day can produce 104-degree heat in a closed vehicle within a half hour. When outside temps range from 80 to 100, the temperature in a closed vehicle can climb well above 130 degrees.
Parents and caregivers should accustom themselves to always checking vehicles before locking the doors.