Matthew Clinton, an FDNY firefighter, rescued a five-year-old who was trapped in a hot car in a Target parking lot. Unfortunately, many children still die every year from a forgetful parent and the quickly-rising temperature of a parked car. Luckily, Clinton was able to save this child from heat stroke.
In the US, there have been 30 deaths so far involving a hot car. This “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” is a result of a parent going on auto-pilot. When they take their baby to an errand or task that usually doesn’t involve them, habit memory kicks in. They do not mean to leave their child behind, but these parents believe they’re just going about their day as per usual. It’s not until later that they remember they’re forgetting something vital: their baby.
Clinton walked by a Target in College Point with his two trainees. He noticed a five-year-old boy who was in a car seat of a parked car, and he was clearly in pain. They could clearly see that he was crying and sweating profusely, and there was no one around to tend to him. As they tried to settle him from outside, a small crowd began to gather around the car. It quickly became evident that he needed to be rescued ASAP.
Clinton asked the bystanders if anyone had something to break the window. Someone quickly handed him a hammer, and he began to smash the driver’s side window. He was then able to get the boy out of the car and tried to keep him calm until the NYPD officers arrived. They showed up not that long after he smashed the window, and the boy’s father also came to the parking lot.
❗Safety Alert❗ I’m warning Floridians about the dangers of hot cars & reminding everyone to NEVER leave a child behind in a vehicle. In 2018 alone, 52 children died in hot cars nationwide. These numbers are preventable & we can make a difference. #flapol pic.twitter.com/sU5xs3fYEw— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) August 7, 2019
Authorities arrested the father and charged him with reckless endangerment and acting in a matter dangerous to a child. Upon searching his person, they also found Xanax on him that he did not have a prescription for, so he was additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance. His son has been taken to Flushing Hospital, and everything seems to be okay. Thanks to the quick-thinking of this firefighter, another death from forgetting a kid in a hot car has been avoided.