WATCH: Onalaska Police rescue infant accidentally locked in vehicle

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — During hot days like Tuesday, cars are dangerous for adults, and even more so for kids. After rescuing an infant from a locked car, the Onalaska Police Department is reminding parent to check their backseats before they exit their cars.

It only takes a moment to forget.

“Children get unintentionally left in vehicles, we forget that they’re there,” said Megan Anderson, an injury prevention specialist at Gundersen Health System.

But in that moment, anything can happen.

“We have to be really careful with children when it gets hot outside or hot vehicles,” she said.

On June 7, the Onalaska Police Department received a call from a woman who accidentally locked her keys and her newborn infant in her car.

Officers normally use a lockout tool to wedge open a car door.

“In that particular situation, the lockout tool was not available,” said Police Chief Charles Ashbeck.

In body cam footage, officers can be heard  saying, “We’re missing a piece that we need for our kit, so we might just need to break the window.”

Without the tools, the officers used a window punch tool to break the glass.

The National Safety Council reports that vehicle-related heat stroke kills an average of 38 children under 15.

A child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, Anderson said.

“Organs can slow kind of down and stop the function. That can cause death over time,” Anderson said.

A temperature of 70 degrees is equally as dangerous.

“A vehicle can heat up almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes,” she said.

Ashbeck said parents should have a spare car key or leave their purses or wallet in the back seat of a car.

“Something to remind you that your child is in the back seat,” he said.

Because even though leaving your child behind might be accidental, there can be consequences.

“If the child is injured, there could be some reckless endangerment. If it’s a further tragedy like a fatality, the person would face criminal charges,” Ashbeck said.

And even if you think you’re only going to the store for a moment, always take your child with you.

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