A New Jersey toddler was left inside a sweltering car for 20 minutes when her mother accidentally locked her keys inside the vehicle while dropping something off at a friend's home, police say.
The mother was "distraught" when officers arrived at the Nassau Square townhouse complex on Route 17 Thursday morning, South Brunswick police said.
The mother told police she'd stopped in the complex to drop off something to a friend and thought she left the car running with the air conditioning on, according to police. She walked 10 feet to her friend's front door and returned minutes later.
That's when she realized the car was turned off and she'd locked her keys inside.
Her 18-month-old daughter was wailing in a child seat in the back, and by the time police arrived, the child had been inside for 20 minutes and the temperature inside had topped 90 degrees, police said.
A sergeant broke the back window and immediately got the crying baby out. Officers took her inside the mother's friend's home and cooled her down with water. She was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.
Police urged residents to be aware of how quickly the inside of a car can heat up in extreme heat.
"In this heat it will only take minutes for someone left inside a vehicle to suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke," South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said. "In this case officers were able to quickly intervene and rescue this child."
The mother hasn't been charged in the case.