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Breaking Windows to Save Children - KOAM TV 7

Breaking Windows to Save Children

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

You see a locked car, closed windows, a child inside with no parents in sight.
What do you do?

Sgt. Rusty Rives says before breaking a car window, call 911.

"A, it starts help your way cause you're going to need that eventually," Rives said. "B, if the child is in medical distress it'll also start those emergency services."

In Merriam, KS a woman tried desperately to break the front driver's window with a tire iron when faced with a similar situation. Even with the tool this rescue attempt lasted minutes.

Rives says the public is most needed as eyes and ears of first responders. 

"The big thing for us is we need accurate information to get you help," Rives said. "And then we need proper assessment."

Because while there are window punches and specific hammers available for general public, "the chances of someone actually carrying one of those around with them and ever productively using one are very slim," Rives said. 

The Merriam toddler was eventually rescued, now doing fine.

Rives says people should be on the look for tell-tale signs of when a situation becomes dangerous. 

"If the child's moving around and sweating, that's a good sign," Rives said. "If your child's red-faced, lethargic, not moving, it shows they're more in distress at that point."

When faced with a situation where a child does need immediate help, the best option is grabbing whatever's nearest, like a rock, and going for a window farthest from the child.

"You just have to use whatever measures you have necessary to accomplish it at that time," Rives said. 

It is legal in Missouri to leave a child over the age of 10 in your vehicle. 
Kansas has no specific laws about leaving infants in a vehicle.. although a parent could face counts of criminal negligence or child endangerment.
 

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